The Sporting News and STATS Inc., sports publishers that do about a half dozen reference titles each annually, have announced a partnership that will see them operate a joint list. "The [statistics] market is disintegrating," said TSN editorial director Steve Meyerhoff, "and we want to find a way to reduce the number of competitive titles out there." The two will form a joint editorial board for an effort that will yield two baseball, two football and two hockey titles every year, along with some other titles. McGraw-Hill is handling distribution.

TSN and STATS currently copublish some books, but this agreement strengthens and formalizes the relationship. While their titles are somewhat competitive, TSN directs its books toward information-seekers, while STATS publications are geared at rotisserie players. Hooking up seems like a creative idea, but it's not without its problems. "The trick is to be able to come up with one book that appeals to both audiences," Meyerhoff said.