Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Invitation to Extinction? Newsstand Professionals in an Up-roar

Those of us on the print side of the publishing industry tend to get a bit touchy about comparisons to dinosaurs, which usually come amidst discussions of e-this, digital that, and print-is-dead pronouncements.

Especially touchy are the people responsible for “newsstand” marketing, who are perhaps the most endangered species in the Printosaurus genus.

Ad pages and print subscriptions have stabilized, but newsstand sales keep declining at an annual rate of about 10%. (“Newsstand” is a misnomer because most retail sales of magazine occur at supermarkets and bookstores, with a tiny percentage at actual newsstands. And none occur online.)

So it was a bit surprising when the main trade group promoting U.S. retail sales of magazines chose to illustrate an invitation to its annual dinner with a photo of several large, extinct reptiles. That’s hit a raw nerve for some folks in the newsstand field.

"Is that supposed to show the museum or the dinner's attendees?" one invitee to the IPDA dinner asked.

The depicted dinosaurs are part of a display at Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences, where the event is being held. But some people in the business fear they will soon be the ones on exhibit in the Hall of Extinct Species.

Cheer up, folks. Scientists now tell us that not all dinosaurs went extinct. Some survived the great die-off and evolved into what we now call birds.

Survival is possible, but watch out for falling meteors.

Other Dead Tree Edition articles about newsstand sales include:


David Pilcher said...

Laughed out loud at the dinosaur photo and comment. Thanks!

BoSacks said...

BoSacks Speaks Out: I'm no Darwinian expert but I think that our survival without a sense of humor is just not likely and might even be impossible.

Anyone who got bent out of shape by the invitation to the PBAA dinner next week in Philly is indeed way too sensitive and possibly out of touch with the reality.

Ladies and gents there is so much honest work to be done for our industry that this umbrage is just plain silly bordering on the ridiculous. I will be there in Philly and I am greatly looking forward to the event and talking to all the dinosaurs both living and dead. Besides I have always been a huge fan of the giant Newsasaurus Rex.

Perhaps we should leave this moment to what Lily Tomlin once said: Instead of working for the survival of the fittest, we should be working for the survival of the wittiest - then we can all die laughing.