I’ve been updating readers of this blog about the Mercury News situation.
If you have newsstand distribution, what’s happening with Mercury News has been affecting you whether you have kept track of the details or not. Mercury has been on shaky financial footing for some time, and there has been a lot of speculation as to who will pick up the distribution.
It isn’t an inconsequential question. Mercury’s footprint was big. Back in May, I reported that Cowley (a TNG marketing partner) had negotiated to buy out Mercury’s distribution in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and northwest Mississippi. At the time it was believed that Mercury would keep its Texas accounts and focus on them.
Today we are told that TNG (formerly The News Group) has entered into an agreement to assume responsibility for servicing Mercury’s retail accounts in Texas and the southern Arkansas markets, effective October 2013.
Mercury’s final distribution is to be October 3. After that, all remaining product will be received into the TNG system. For now, and until the transition is complete, there will be no change in the title mix or allotment levels.
We’ll be hearing more as things develop, but for now it’s a relief that we can look to some stabilization of a volatile situation.