As part of Barnes & Noble's earnings release last week, the company announced that it has written off its $1 million investment in Book magazine, the bimonthly consumer title in which it has a half interest. (B&N also wrote off its investment in iUniverse.) Book was initially distributed free to B&N Readers Advantage members and sold on newsstands.
B&N CFO Larry Zilavy told PW that the accounting write-off "should in no way confuse anyone that we are not committed to Book. We're committed to the magazine. As CFO, I have to pay close attention to accounting convention and look at all our assets, and Book isn't generating the profits that we would have wanted or expect." Zilavy declined to speculate whether B&N would provide Book with further operating capital. He also noted that while B&N wrote off that asset, it retains an active role on Book's board of directors and is active in strategic decisions.
Book, which relocated from Chicago to New York two years ago to be closer to the publishing community and its investors, has more than half a million bimonthly subscribers and in some months, delivers more than a million copies. Though plans to make the magazine a monthly have been delayed, publisher Mark Gleason said he remains optimistic about the magazine. He said the write-down "doesn't really impact us at all." Gleason noted that Book was generating more revenue in 2002 from ads than it had in previous years.