Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

News Corp. offers newsagents 37.12 cents for each copy of 40 years of State of Origin

Mark Fletcher
September 25th, 2020 · 6 Comments

Retail newsagent who stock the 40 years of State of Origin magazine from News Corp. will make 7.5% of the cover price for each copy sold.

Shame on News Corp. for this.

For a company that shouts daily from its print and digital platforms on many matters including telling others what to do and how to lead, here they are giving newsagents not even a living wage to support this title.

Retail newsagents will make 37.12 cents from each copy sold. For this compensation, they will have to:

  1. Unpack the title.
  2. Check supply against the invoice.
  3. Create space to display the title.
  4. Place the title in retail.
  5. Maintain space for the title for up to eight weeks.
  6. Scan each sale.
  7. Take the title off in early December.
  8. Count returns.
  9. Physically process the returns.
  10. Fund any theft of the title.

37.12 cents a copy for all of this investment by newsagents!

A few newsagents I have spoken with expect they could sell 10 or 12 copies of the magazine. For that they will receive around $4.00. They also said that handling everything necessary that is associated with the title will cost around a man-hour, maybe more.

$4.00 an hour is appalling. The current, non Covid, unemployment benefit paid by the federal government calculates out at around $4.87 an hour. With this 40 years of State of Origin magazine from News Corp., the company is paying less than the unemployment rate.

That’s how much News Corp. values small business newsagents, that’s how much the company cares for them.

On the from cover of The Courier Mail, News Corp. claims we’re for you. They are not, though, they are certainly not for newsagents and all who rely on a newsagency business for income.

So, how much should newsagents be paid to offer this title? The gross profit from the 40 years of State of Origin magazine should be at least 45%. While that would not make it profitable for newsagents, it would at least demonstrate respect for newsagents and their investment of labour and retail space in supporting the title.

The current low margin arrangement for print product continues poor and disrespectful treatment of newsagents by publishers. Newsagents putting up with this treatment allow it to continue.

Newsagents only make money from what they sell. Publishers make money in a range of ways from a print title.

Publishers will complain that they don’t make enough to give newsagents a better margin. That is not the fault of newsagents. Newsagents have fixed labour and space costs. They increase yearly. Publishers need to respect this if they want the channel to continue. They current approach to compensation is a factor in some newsagents quitting the channel.


Category: Ethics · magazines · Social responsibility

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Sep 25, 2020 at 9:03 AM

    And they wonder why their print publication numbers are in decline.

    Under pricing one’s product and cost cutting are the road to failure. Newcorp’s bean counters continue to lead them down this road.


  • 2 Colin // Sep 25, 2020 at 9:25 AM

    Don’t sell. Return every copy. Send message enough is enough.


  • 3 Graeme Day // Sep 25, 2020 at 9:29 AM

    Rock and a hard place-if one refuses to sell and return copies, customers may leave you. Plus in may not harm News as they are insentitive to this poor marketing in the first place.


  • 4 Lance // Sep 25, 2020 at 9:30 AM

    The major supermarkets would accept 37.12c for this ??
    Tell’em to shove it 😉


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Sep 25, 2020 at 9:57 AM

    Graeme, that’s been the argument / worry for decades. Publishers leverage it. It’s 2020. It’s no longer relevant.

    The evidence is that you are unlikely to actually lose the customer and any you do lose are not commercially valuable.

    Back in the day we obsessed about foot traffic in-store. Today it is about bankable value from shopper traffic.

    My advice to newsagents is make decisions that nurture respect you have for yourselves and your business.


  • 6 Graeme Day // Sep 25, 2020 at 1:34 PM

    Yes, it’s a pity that so many newsagents are still stuck in yesteryear and their Business Model reflects this. They just can’t seem to understand that it ius fading all the time and it won’t change. Suppliers (publishers) have the same rut even though they have “cancelled out” ” the magnificnet Block” system they act if it’s still there for abuse. Retail is a different matter altogether.


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