Yet another sign that the publishing industry is bleeding like a hemophiliac after falling down a flight of stairs comes from the publisher of long running car mags Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Automobile has filed for bankruptcy.
The publisher is called Source Interlink, another blandly named corporation that is “… a leading marketing, merchandising and fulfillment company of entertainment products including DVDs, music CDs, magazines, books and related items. With an annual run rate revenue in excess of $3 billion, Source Interlink serves about 110,000 retail store locations throughout North America. Supply chain relationships include movie studios, record labels, magazine and newspaper publishers, confectionary companies and manufacturers of general merchandise,” according to Wikipedia. And boy, with a “tradition” of providing crap like that in the late 20th century, how could they ever run into financial trouble.
As far as we’re concerned, Source Interlink’s most interesting productions are magazines like Motor Trend, Automobile, Hot Rod and Car Craft, not to mention their more narrowly targeted publications that focus on everything from 5.0 Mustangs to Jeeps. Personally, Motor Trend hasn’t counted as a serious news source for decades, so the potential for not seeing that on newsstands, let alone being hammered with endless car commercials about how some pointless and uninspiring sedan is “MOTOR TREND’S CAR OF THE YEAR!!!” doesn’t exactly fill me with a sense of loss.
Source Interlink has filed for bankruptcy protection and is seeking to go private according to a Bloomberg report. I’m not a finance guy, but retreating to private funding doesn’t seem like the best idea, but then again, maybe that will help stabilize things. For the moment, the larger titles are going to be OK, but the smaller deals, that focus on everything from 5.0 Mustangs to Jeeps might be headed for oblivion.
Now, the publishing industry as a whole, I’m not sure how healthy it is. The New York Times Corp. is currently in serious discussions concerning the viability of The Boston Globe. So if that’s what’s happening at the top of the publishing heap what to the gearheads like you and me have to look forward to?