Middling-hot publishing gossip: ID distributor Anderson News may be going out of business. If they aren't, they've been doing something else fairly strange.
From Publishers Weekly:
Three weeks after Anderson News threatened that it could cease distributing magazines unless publishers paid a 7¢/per copy surcharge, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based distributor of magazines and books may be forced to exit the business. Not only did publishers refuse to pay the surcharge, but they stopped shipping to it.A more in-depth analysis of the story from "Shocko from Seattle" on Daily Kos:
On Saturday, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based distributor, which services 40,000 outlets, announced that it had suspended normal business activity, according to the Knoxville News. The suspension affects employees at Anderson News, Prologix East, Anderson Services and Twin Rivers Technology.
The short form, best I understand it, is this: Anderson News and Source InterLink, two of the four big companies which deliver magazines to retailers (and I'm now the occasional magazine buyer for an independent bookstore, so I have some hands-on dealings with Anderson) tried to add an additional .07 handling charge per magazine in early January. The whole publishing industry is bleeding, and this was, apparently, their notion of a transfusion. Or a tourniquet.Shocko's piece is a good solid informative read. I recommend taking a closer look at it.
The big publishing houses balked. Anderson and Source Interlink pulled the offer back, paid their next round of bills to the publishers, and 13 minutes later found that the publishers had withdrawn their titles. (That's all in the original link, I'm not going to retype it here.)
What this may mean is that Time-Warner and some other prominent publishers will find themselves not available on newsstands this week. Or next week. The profane leader of Source InterLink apparently has tied up a bunch of WalMarts and is claiming the exclusive right to rack magazines in those stores, thereby blocking Time-Warner. But in the meantime there's chaos for everybody.