Sunday, January 6, 2008

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Circ Scandal, Reading

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Circ Scandal, Reading
RE: F+W Shutters Multiple Magazines - Newsday Circ Scandal Settled
I have managed this type of account for many years for XXX XXX XXX
Private Equity is keeping a very tight reign on the cash flow.

Cutting out titles that are not profitable.
Paper prices sure are not helping. Publishers are very actively reducing page counts, culling circulation, reducing trim size, reducing basis weight, downgrading quality, tightening inventory turns etc.

The cycle of - costs (labor/fuel/environmental regulation, freight, pulp etc) to mills goes up - mills reduce supply to keep up margins - customers reduce demand (see above) - mills cut supply again to keep margins - begs the question . . . is there a price for paper that creates a supply/demand equilibrium that is profitable for all? Or are we seeing the unwinding of paper as a medium? Ultimately . . . is it efficient?
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

RE: Meat to Wrap the Mind Around

I read this article in the NY Times yesterday. How wonderful and subversive and SO NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT! The venture may even turn out to be profitable. I am sure the Beef industry is watching this carefully, if they are not already the main financing arm behind it. What a paradox, being cynical and optimistic at the same time. Maybe...just maybe we are beginning to crawl out of the dark ages of the last 10 years into a new enlightenment, or am I being too hopeful. What say ye, Sir Bo.
(Submitted by a Magazine Circulator)

Re: Rival, funds circling Quebecor World
Sure as hell would not want to be an unsecured paper peddler with these folks right now.
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

Re: 107 Magazine Predictions for 2008
Mr Husni will not concede to Bob Sacks, and other humorous predictions aside, magazine publishing will change. The subsidy of low cost paper and perhaps printing will end. It may take publication printers a couple of years to halt contract renewal concessions, but publication grade papermakers will extract a measure of profitability that publishers have blunted for years. Will marginal titles disappear? Sure. Will clever publishers and manufacturing professionals mitigate cost increases? Absolutely. Will the magazine world look different? seems likely.
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

Re: UPM removes significant magazine and newsprint capacity worldwide
The Finns miscalculated the North American graphic arts markets back in the early 90's when they came in here. They paid way too much for the North American assets including Stora Enso's $1 billion over bid of Mead for Consolidated Papers. They took a $1billion write off of good will 2 years after the purchase. In UPM's case they did not realize what would happen to the Canadian forest products markets if the Canadian dollar strengthened against the US dollar. When they bought in the split was 65 to 35. Small and inefficient mills in Canada could cut the price by $2.00/cwt and still walk away with a bunch of money, which they did. Once the Canadian dollar approached parity with the US the roof fell in on them. The first to go were all the small inefficient mills, followed by large mills like Mirmachi, which was built in the wrong place in the first place.

The Finns have lost billions in North America.

I was told by an insider at Stora Enso that when the Euro reaches $118 all kinds of bad things will happen to the Finns. Now it is in the high $140's and things are really bad.
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

RE: What will life be like if people stop reading?
Bob: What a fantastic article!
I, at any given time, am reading 2-3 books . . . one by the bed, one in the bath (oh come on . . . you too I bet!) and one by the fireplace.
Add to that I scan 6-10 websites daily for news and information and I Google habitually (and that BoSacks guys keeps sending me stuff!).

Did I read the entire article? No . . . I kind of did an "Evelyn Wood" . . . . I scanned the first and last sentences of each paragraph for the most part.

Essay writing, as I remember it, is "Intro-Explanation/Proof-Conclusion".

When I scan I check out the Intro & Conclusion. If I "get it" or "already know it", I move on . . . if I don't, I re-read in it's entirety . . . and usually learn something new.

One of my titles is "Information Manager" which kind of means I'm the "Shell Answer Man" in my company. The internet enables me to learn almost anything if I know how to use it. It's amazing to me how few people know how. Of course knowing how to apply knowledge is a whole other story. Gethe - Knowing is not enough; we must apply!
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

Re: What will life be like if people stop reading?
Oh god another "we're not reading enough" story. I have two answers 1, time 2, multimedia. I personally don't have a lot of extra time on my plate since I work two jobs just to get by. After that second job I come home . . . late . . . and want to watch a completely mindless movie and zone out. I don't want to get my nacho's or rum mixed in between the pages of a book. What were the stories back in the day I wonder? Here are some titles that may have been circulating. "What will life be like without stone tablets?" "Metal chisels don't run out of ink!" "What will life be like without your horse?". "Who will be left to interpret smoke signals?" This just seems to be the natural evolution of communication. I don't doubt that reading "books" is in decline but we're not going to stop reading because we all have too many emails that we get every day, text messages and instant messages. I think we should wonder what will life be like without speaking?? No one picks up the phone anymore unless they call you and ask "did you get my email?"
Sorry for my rant, just one of those days.
(Submitted by a Senior Paper Buyer)

Re: Americans' Reading Proficiency in 'Alarming' Decline
Below is the best argument for the novel that I have seen in a long, long, time- perhaps if I had read this in my formative years, I would have been more of a novel aficionado, instead of the non-fiction creature I've become... The perfect subject for a winter evening's drink debate . . .
It's a keeper for me . . .
thanks for being the stimulus for this kind of thought and writing!
(Submitted by Distributor)

Re: Americans' Reading Proficiency in 'Alarming' Decline
The article asks, What are the consequences if America becomes "a nation in which reading is a minority activity"?

I know the answer to this question.

Specifically, I know what happens when people stop reading novels. Now, this article was at pains to say real *reading*, serious, manly, commercial *reading* was more important to study than an earlier NEA effort that got, I guess, bogged down in literary reading which "led critics to downplay its implications."

Novels, then, are the least of our problems: they're frills and idle pleasures, and if women want to go on reading them that's OK, but men surely don't have to, and maybe we can rework school curricula so they begin to disappear. Novels are not important.

Excuse me, but they are. Staggeringly important if it comes right down to it. This is serious, so allow me to explain.

Reading a novel requires entering the interior life of its characters. It's not a place any other art form can take you quite as fully, because you arrive there with the opportunity to reflect on your own life. (Movies, operating in real time, have extremely

limited opportunities for reflection, but thanks for playing.) By reading a novel, you develop three extraordinary skills: empathy, because a character's choices will actually make sense; sympathy, because a reader can share a character's emotions; and self-knowledge, because the choices, circumstances, and behaviors the reader reflects on will doubtless extend his experiences, imaginary though they be, to include crucial decision about identity and self.
Let me put it another way. Could you invade Iraq if you'd read Moby- Dick and Middlemarch?

Not unless these books' insights into hubris and the nature of society's interdependence somehow eluded you. When reading a novel, I learn about myself and I learn about the world and I'm hard-pressed to think of any other thing that can teach so much, that can strengthen me so much.

I admit, reading is harder than video games. It's harder because reflection is involved. (And sometimes vocabulary, and a certain generosity toward cultural oddities of other times and places.) But reflection would be one of the last bits of baggage we'd want to discard. It is what makes society possible, tolerable, even hopeful. It is what makes death endurable, too.

So, if reading becomes a minority activity, we will have greed and useless levels of self-assurance and very little tolerance. The inner lives of others will become closed to us. That would leave us, I suppose, rather mystified by other people, and quicker still to see them as enemies. We will stop understanding each other.

Novels look like little pleasure craft floating along in society, not a causal force. But if we could dissect the fabric of thought and belief, we would surely discover that the cultivation of imagination had a great deal to do with the advances of science, and that the cultivation of empathy had a great deal to do with every bit of political, philosophical, and social progress mankind has made.

Literary reading is not a minor scrap of pleasure but the source of thinking that engages the self and world honestly and compassionately. Go ahead--try to think of something else that does.

(Submitted by an Industry Supplier)

1 comment:

ceplocal689miramichi said...

Well well . It appears UPM has convinced the rest of their lies.
I worked here in Miramichi for 21 years. UPM unlike Stora Enso wanted the prices driven so they could import more from Europe.
UPM also never invested a dime in infrastructure. The only money spent was to tear down the Kraft Mill and then invest in one in Finland. Now we see the price of Kraft.
UPMs plan was to undercut the rest and watch them close. This all changed in January 2007 , one month after we were shown the plan. Somebody got wet feet or real greedy.
Heres our blog . Enjoy the video.

Chris Allison