Media conglomerate Time Warner cooked up a postal rate scheme -- which was adopted by the Postal Regulatory Commission -- that will give publishers of large circulation magazines big breaks on postal rates while burdening smaller circulation mags with huge increases. The future of some of those magazines -- both liberal and conservative -- is very much in doubt if the rates that Time Warner wants are allowed to kick in.
Time Warner, in case you didn't know, publishes large circulation magazines. From freepress.net:
Most magazines were budgeting for a 10-12% increase. The Time Warner plan proposed higher costs for small publishers and discounts for big publishers. The Time Warner plan is so complex that many publications are still unclear what their rate hikes will be if implemented; those smaller publications that have been able to do the math are finding shocking increases on tap, as high as 25-30%.
The Time Warner plan represents another step (albeit a giant step) in the gradual reversal of the Founder's public service principles of supporting democracy through the postal service. It is the latest, largest move towards abandoning these public service priorities and permitting a system that no longer favors low-advertising, political speech -- like In These Times and The American Spectator -- ad-heavy magazines like People and Cosmo. The practical result of this move is not only the decline of a democratic mission, it is also a rate shock for small and medium size magazines even as big publishers are getting a break.