It’s been a long time coming, but it is here! With a difference, albeit a temporary one.
This is the issue that should have been on the newsstands on Thursday, but while we were firing on all cylinders – okay, both cylinders – magazines have two revenue streams: sales and advertising. When the print order needed signing, there was no guarantee that retailers would be retailing, and many advertisers had reallocated their budgets to other housekeeping projects and wouldn’t be reopening their wallets until later in the year.
We could have printed, but it might have been the last time we would: get it wrong and it could finish us off. We had already been bitten on the bum by getting AmV 101 into the shops – primarily WH Smiths – just in time for them to lock the doors or cordon-off the magazines in those operating as post offices, and it’s not as though we weren’t facing challenges before Covid.
And no, it’s wasn’t possible to pull them out and redistribute them elsewhere – we asked, even though we suspected that we knew the answer – because wholesale doesn’t work like that.
Do we print just enough for the subscribers? Our most important customers. We did think about it, but the print costs go through the ceiling on short run magazines, and that could have finished us off too.
There must be something?
There was. There is: and this is it.
Yes, we do know that this isn’t remotely fair on those readers and subscribers who do not have the facility – or the ability – to view the magazine digitally, but the options were limited and we haven’t taken this decision lightly. Far better to have a few annoyed subscribers and a magazine – even if that means reimbursing those who aren’t prepared to wait until December – than a lot of annoyed former subscribers and no magazine at all.
And I cannot stress enough that subscribers to the paper magazine will get all of the pages that they have paid for, and they will be printed on paper … it’s just that they won’t get them before December, at which time they are advised to put a pillow in the hallway beneath the letterbox, because American-V 104 will land with a hell of a thump. And in the meantime, they can get hold of the content on a phone, tablet, computer – maybe even a Smart TV: I will test that last one and get back to you.