By Glenn Dyer
Don’t hold your breath waiting for Seven Network’s Pacific Magazines and the Hannan Family’s FPC magazines group to go all gooey-eyed and stitch up some sort of joint venture.
FPC has a number of new magazines coming this year, most notably Notebook, a magazine in the Madison (ACP) style that will seek to answer market research that seems to suggest a niche is there for it among women.
That would indicate that FPC seems itself remaining independent, not joint venturing.
Pacific is very happy at the Seven Network, playing publisher and letting others do the dirty work of distribution.
But one thing a lot of people forget about the two groups is that one, Pacific, used to be part of PMP which owns Gordon and Gotch, the magazine distribution operator that is probably number one, just in front of ACP’s Network Services(it all depends on how you use number of titles versus number of copies distributed).
When Seven had half of Pacific, with PMP owning the other half, the distribution sat well in G&G.
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When Seven bought the other 50% of Pacific a couple of years ago, it left the magazine distribution for the likes of New Idea with G&G.
The argument apparently is that Seven has no expertise in delivering magazines and doesn’t want to learn. With Pacific it has publishing expertise, which is where you make most of the money in magazines.
Pacific has a long term printing and distribution agreement with PMP that was fixed up when the ownership change happened, so unbundling that to accommodate any joint venture with FPC would be messy and expensive. Probably prohibitive!
Finally, the Hannan family’s huge printing operations handle the FPC magazines, which gives them greater control over their product. Would they want to give that up. Knowing them, nope!
With ACP attacking distribution costs by cutting newsagents commission, supplying subagents direct and trying to trim returns costs, it is much easier for Seven and Pacific to pressure G&G to match whatever gains ACP gets in the marketplace.
Hannan’s NDD(http://www.ipmg.com.au/newsagents.asp) distributes the FPC magazines and some third party publications, such as Reader’s Digest.
There would obviously be no sense in Seven, which had the chance to get into distribution and rejected it, getting into bed with a distributor, even if it’s in a joint venture.
Perhaps the Hannan’s are really sellers of FPC?