**TV Guide Withdraws From the MPA

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TV Guide, the largest-circulation U.S. magazine, will resign from the Magazine Publishers of America association effective Dec. 31, according to reports.

The announcement came right before this week's American Magazine Conference in Bermuda.

John O'Reilly, president of TV Guide Magazine Group, New York, submitted the resignation to MPA President Nina Link in a move that stunned board members and was a blow to the association.

The industry group said it was particularly concerned about losing a "significant chunk" of dues -- which insiders said could be $500,000 a year -- from TV Guide, a weekly with a circulation of 10.8 million.

O'Reilly said that as TV Guide parent company Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. "continues to evolve into a multi-industry, multiplatform media and technology company... [support of trade associations] across several industries now requires prioritization."

In related news, the 81st gathering of the MPA kicked off Monday in Bermuda, with MPA president/CEO Nina Link and chairwoman Cathleen P. Black, president of Hearst Magazines, declaring the outlook for the magazine industry as dreary.

They said publishers have had a tough year, from wholesaler consolidation to the demise of stamp sheets to the proposed 15 percent increase in postal rates, which, if approved by the U.S. Postal Service, will take effect in January.

The MPA, however, has put constant pressure on the USPS, with bipartisan support from leaders in Congress, to hold down the magazine postal rate increase. It is hopeful the Postal Rate Commission will recommend a lower increase on Nov. 13.

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