Random Thoughts 2

Posted on 1/19/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



January 19, 1999

Scuba Magazines

Chris Crumley of Earth Water stock agency reports that

The Peterson Company acquired Scuba Times and DeepTech magazines on

December 24, according to Bob Garth, STM Publisher in Nashville, TN.

Answering concerns about previous scuba magazine sales resulting in unpaid invoices

from contributors, Bob Garth said "agreed-upon payments to contributors will be

made in early to mid-January." He added, "perhaps we can do it differently; go out

leaving a good taste in contributors' mouths."

Bob Garth verified that his brother, Fred Garth, will become be editor or publisher

of Peterson's Southern Scuba and that the rest of the STM and DeepTech staff will

go their separate ways as the business is wound down. Fred will remain in the STM

offices with the same telephone, fax and e-mail for some time into the future. Fred

Garth and this writer were unable to reach each other prior to this report being


Bob Garth said the magazines were sold to Peterson following inquires from

Peterson. He described the diving industry as "contracting, rather than growing,

with too many magazines." They were being "slaughtered on the newsstand" by

Peterson and Rodales and were planning to leave the newsstand in 1999 and

concentrate on being first rate subscriber journals. Peterson purchased the

magazines, not just the subscriber lists.

The Jan/Feb 1999 issue of Scuba Times will be the last issue and has already been

distributed. The 1st Quarter 1999 DeepTech issue is at the printer and will be

available at DEMA.

Peterson is a publicly-traded company (Symbol: PTN); news of the

transaction will be available from numerous financial sources. In news earlier in

December, Peterson is being acquired by EMAP, plc, one of the largest consumer

publshing companies in Europe for US$1.2 billion in cash. The transaction has been

approved by the boards of both companies. The U.S. operating division, to be known

as EMAP Peterson, will be led by James D. Dunning, Jr., current Chairman, President

and CEO of The Peterson Company. EMAP plc, which is led by Kevin Hand, with the

addition of Petersen, will be one of the world's leading international magazine

publishers with over 600 magazine titles and multimedia products including

television, radio, trade shows, consumer events and custom publishing, more than

6,000 employees worldwide and combined revenues exceeding US$1.5 billion.

Production Disincentives

Some stock agencies require that 100% of the first dollars earned from any pictures

in their catalog go to pay off the catalog fee owed the agency. It is easy to see

why an agency would do this because they have fronted the money to produce the

catalog and they need to keep their money working.

On the other hand this can be a real disincentive to the photographer they are

trying to encourage to produce more images for the next catalog, and particularly

so if the photograher is just starting with the agency and doesn't have many images

in the catalog.

The photographer has paid all the costs to produce the pictures, usually waits

about a year before the catalog is released, and then it is not uncommon for the

photographer to wait another year for the image to earn enough money to pay off the

catalog fee. By this time the photographer is beginning to wonder if this is a

good way to invest his capital.

Tony Stone Images, as one example, pays to the photographer half of the

photographer's normal share until the catalog fee is paid off. This way the

photographer starts seeing some money much earlier. Stone has to wait twice as

long to recover their investment in catalog production, but the photographer has a

much greater incentive to re-invest the dollars received in new production.

New Creative Director For Tony Stone Images

Tony Stone Images has appointed Lewis Blackwell as its new Creative Director to

replace Stephen Mayes who left the company in the spring of 1998. Lewis will join

the company in early March and will be responsible to drive and develop Tony Stone

Images' creative outlook.

"The real draw for me has been the company's amazing vision," Lewis said. "It's at

the cutting edge of the communications revolution. Its recognition of the power of

the image in what is an increasingly visual culture is highly sophisticated - as is

its embrace of new media, particularly the Internet. This is a fantastic

opportunity for me to join a very exciting ideas-led company - definitely the one

to watch."

American photographers who may not have heard of Blackwell can get an idea of his

thinking by going to www.whereishere.com which he collaborated n with P. Scott

Makela and Laurie Haycock Makela. Blackwell also collaborated with David Carson on

the design bestseller "The End of Print", and with Neville Brody on "G1; Subj,

Contemp, Design, Graphic."

Because the stock photography industry is traditionally design and advertising-led,

TSI attemped to find an astute observer of creative trends who would help drive the

company's creative vision, and could also demonstrate a formidable understanding of

multiple creative disciplines in addition to photography. Blackwell proved to be

the ideal candidate.

Getting Images Seen

Some TSI photographers are finding that after images have been are selected for the

master dupe collection it takes over a year to get the images duped and distributed

to the various offices. The explanation is that they are putting out so many new

catalogs that their first priority is to dupe images that go with the catalogs.

Nevertheless, such delays discourage future production.

Finding Getty Images

The URL for the Getty Images web site is www.Getty-Images.com. However, the most

common way to address web sites of most companies with compound word names is

running the two words together like www.washingtonpost.com. Many companies have

registered several versions of their name, including common misspellings, so online

users will always be directed to the right site, and not some competiting site.

Getty doesn't seem to have taken that precaution.

The URL address www.gettyimages.com was registered to a Mr. Willy Thompson at 3555

Cremazie E in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on January 5, 1999. So far there is no

active site at that address. It will be interesting to see where users are

directed when this URL finally goes active.

Follow Up On Aiuppy Story

After reading the Aiuppy story 186,

there is another thing that Jonathan Klein overlooked when he compared photographers

percentages of gross sales to those of movie actors. Actors almost never

work entirely on speculation. They get significant up front payments - plus, in

some cases, royalties.

Oudated Images

Who says every subject has to be constantly updated and that you must purge the

files of outdated images. I just received tear sheets for five uses from my German

agent. Cotton farming in Turkey, changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in

London, U.S. Capital Dome, soybean harvesting and computer storage devices. All

the images were taken fifteen or more years ago -- and they are still generating


Copyright © 1999 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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