UPDATE: TV Guide Withdraws From the MPAGemstar/TV Guide International Inc., publisher of TV Guide, the largest-circulation U.S. magazine, will resign from the Magazine Publishers of America effective Dec. 31.
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.
In a statement, O'Reilly said, "Gemstar/TV Guide International Inc. continues to evolve into a multi-industry, multiplatform media and technology company. Because our business initiatives relate to several different industries, we have evaluated our trade association alliances relating to the year 2001. That review has resulted in the unfortunate conclusion that effective Dec. 31, 2000, we will resign from the MPA."
O'Reilly added, "We still retain a strong commitment to printed products. That commitment pertains to currently published magazines as well as new products that will be introduced into the marketplace. However, our support of various trade association efforts across several industries has required different prioritizations."
TV Guide has a circulation of 11.1 million, and the MPA receives about $500,000 in annual dues from the weekly.
Link said in a statement, "The Magazine Publishers of America is disappointed by the resignation of TV Guide Inc. TV Guide Inc. has been a member of the MPA for three years. They joined the association under a different leadership, and control has changed twice in that time.
"The focus of the company is evolving, but print remains an important central element of their brand. Given the critical issues facing the industry -- particularly in the postal and distribution areas that could have a serious financial impact -- we believe that membership in the association is more important today than it has ever been."
Link added that "we will make every effort to convince them to rejoin."