Meredith warns US Postal Regulatory Commission of massive magazine cutbacks

Meredith Corporation would “pursue magazine closures, circulation cuts, issue frequency reductions, conversions to digital only formats and alternative delivery for some magazine subscription copies,” Tom Harty, the company’s president and chief executive officer, wrote in comments filed Wednesday with the Postal Regulatory Commission.

32 per cent fewer magazines

“We conservatively estimate that the PRC’s proposed rate structure will result in a 32 per cent reduction in the number of periodical pieces mailed by Meredith (a loss of approximately 310 million pieces annually),” Harty wrote. “At this level of volume decline, the Postal Service will receive less revenue, not more, from Meredith than it does under the current CPI [Consumer Price Index] cap system.”

He said the company spent nearly US$322 million on postage last year. (He didn’t clarify whether that number included last year’s postage bill for Time Inc., which Meredith purchased a month ago.)

The PRC acknowledges that its package of proposals could raise periodicals postage rates by more than 40 pr cent over the next five years. And that’s assuming the inflation rate remains at two per cent.

Meredith is among more than 150 organisations that have submitted comments, mostly unfavorable, about the proposal.

Read the full details on Dead Tree Edition.

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