Picked by Pecker

Picked by Pecker: Media Life’s Jeff Bercovici asks David Pecker a few questions and gets some really long answers. It’s very interesting stuff about magazines I don’t find very interesting.

However, I must note that David Pecker tells Media Life the exact same thing Samir told the Albequerque Journal (“a correction brewing”).

Pecker says there are 4,500 newsstand magazines (or is it 4,200, another number he uses) and that’s just too many:

“Eventually, it is going to be so expensive to be out in the newsstand that I would not be surprised to see the 4,500 magazine that are out there drop down to maybe 2,200 or 2,300.”

I’m no David Pecker (or Samir Husni, for that matter), but I’m having a little problem with the math. First, I don’t believe the 4,500 or 4,200 number represents the competitive landscape in which David Pecker’s titles must compete.

It is illogical to anticipate there will be 50% fewer magazines in the future than there are today. Perhaps there will be 50% fewer titles that are carried in supermarkets or in GNC centers, but there will not be a 50% reduction in the number of magazines sold through the newsstand channel. Many of these magazines are seasonal and special publications, or micro-niche titles that are produced in a way to be profitably published at short runs. Also, all but just a few magazines receive little more than a small percentage of their revenues from the newsstand. So, it just doesn’t add up.

I’ll agree that many of the magazines published today will not be around in a couple of years (one could make that prediction any year), but I can comfortably predict there will not be a 50% reduction in the number of titles anytime in David Pecker’s lifetime.