Canadian Magazine Industry News
28 June 2010,     TORONTO
Fox reports lowest level of Publications Mail in 11 years
Rogers Publishing senior vice president, circulation and development Michael J. Fox recently issued his annual publications mail analysis report.

The numbers from the 2009 Canadian Post Corporation annual report show volumes of magazines, newspapers and newsletters fell to 471 million copies, down 51 million copies, or 9.7% from 2008. This is the lowest level Publications Mail has reached in the 11 years Fox has tracked results.

Fox said the drop can be attributed to some major publication stops, including Time Canada whose closure alone meant a loss of 11 million copies. He also estimated Canadian copies receiving the now ceased Publications Assistance Program postal subsidy from the Department of Canadian Heritage dropped 15 million copies in the past decade to 189 million copies in 2009.

CPC’s average rate of return per copy also dropped slightly in 2009, to .55 cents per copy according to the analysis. “The 20 plus Pubs Mail rates range from $0.41 to $1.73 a copy depending on weight, density of copies to a postal facility and distance,” said the report. “When CPC began distance-based pricing in January 2009, it estimated an average increase of 3.1% — local rates remained the same; regional rates increased $0.01; national rates increased $0.02 to $0.03 a copy. However, reduced advertising pages cut the weight of magazines, lowering CPC revenue per copy. [CPC’s rate card charges more for heavier magazines: it costs less to mail two copies of a 200-gram magazine than one copy of a 400-gram magazine.]”

Fox also makes note of Canada Post CEO Moya Greene’s departure to takeover Royal Mail in Britain. “In her five years at CPC, [Greene] was a tough and focused leader who ensured CPC was profitable while orchestrating a much needed “Postal Transformation” process,” said Fox in the report.

So far, the Postal Transformations program has focused solely on letter-sized mail but CPC senior vice president Laurene Cihosky will start a consultation into over-sized mail, including publications this fall, according to the report. 

For a full copy of the report from Fox, click here.

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