Hachette Filipacchi Media is pulling out of the Magazine Publishers of America, citing recessionary pressures, AdAge reported. The move was somewhat surprising, since Hachette, the publisher of mags like Elle and Woman’s Day, had previously been a big booster of the trade organization’s efforts to spur advertisers and lobby Washington DC. Former Hachette CEO Jack Kliger, in his role as chair of the trade organ, once castigated non-member mags for getting a “free ride” on industry-wide benefits the MPA produced.
In a statement, the MPA tried to stress the need for greater unity among mag publishers in these tough times. As the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ FAS-FAX magazine report stated so starkly this week, the industry is reeling from the economic downturn, as newsstand sales slid 11.1 percent during the latter half of ’08. But some members are saying they’re reviewing their membership in the face of the MPA’s dues. General dues are based on a mag’s parent company’s gross revenues of the and are assessed on a sliding scale. For those who want only “associate membership” rank, publishers earning over $20 million in revenues pay $15,000 annually, while those who earn less than $2 million, pay $2,500.