On June 14, at the annual Magazines at Retail conference in Greenwich, CT, the Periodical and Book Association of America (PBAA) and the International Periodical Distributors Association (IPDA) announced plans to merge.
The new combined organization will be known as the Magazines and Books at Retail Association (MBR), and will encompass magazine and book publishers, national distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.
“Representing the boards of each organization, it is our promise that the new association will deliver focused, effective programs and services to all members, irrespective of size, and deliver solutions to address today’s industry dynamics in a manner that meets the speed of change. Together, all members of our supply channel will offer a fresh and strengthened voice for the industry—an industry association for our future,” Jay Felts, chairman of the IPDA board, and Will Michalopoulos, chairman of the PBAA board, said in a letter to members of both groups.
Tom Cox, currently VP of mass and distributor sales at Penguin Random House, will chair the new organization, and will serve as a board member. Meanwhile, Jerry Lynch, currently president of IPDA, will act as president of MBR, and Jose Cancio will keep his position as associate director. Rich Alleger, who was executive director of PBAA, will also “assume new capacities within MBR,” according to a press release.
James W. Felts, president of Comag Marketing Group, Robert A. Castardi, an advisor to the board at Curtis Circulation Company, Rich Jacobsen, president and CEO of Time Inc. Retail, Bruce Sherbow, SVP of Penny Publications, and John MacKethan, VP and circulation director of National Geographic Magazine and publisher of National Geographic History, have all also been elected to MBR’s board.
PBAA was initially a not-for-profit organization for publishers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, consultants, and industry service providers. Its members consisted of organizations that published and distributed magazines and books, both in the U.S. and globally.
Meanwhile, IPDA was a trade association, focused on enabling and improving the retail sale of magazines and books for consumers. Its membership was made of national distributor and publisher associate members.
Prior to merging, PBAA and IPDA shared several members and associate members.