Postal rate hikes and Big Media (plus a little of me)

No Comments

Take a look at this story from On The Media (a production of New York Public Radio) concerning the recently announced postal rate hikes:

ROBERT McCHESNEY: They are the only game in town. So when the post office decides to give the best rates to the biggest firms, it’s basically protecting their market power and making it much more difficult for new magazines to start or small magazines to survive.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Well, how small is small in this case?

ROBERT McCHESNEY: Well, it’s not that small. You look at magazines like the National Review, let’s say The Nation, with a circulation approaching 200,000. It’s looking at an increase in expenses of a half a million dollars as a result of the increase they’re going to face.

This is really something they’re not prepared to pay. They’re not a wealthy publication. But 200,000 people’s a lot of Americans who subscribe to this, and many more who read it, maybe, in libraries or lying around the house somewhere.

So it’s not just the smallest zines that are starting, although those certainly will get clobbered, but it’s going up to fairly substantially-sized publications.

A lot of small publishers are going to be hurt by these hikes, and many of those costs are going to be passed on to subscribers. Some magazines will likely have to fold under the new rates.

Oh, and check out the photo that accompanies the story.