The members and boards of directors of the Periodical and Book Association of America (PBAA) and the International Periodical Distributors Association (IPDA) have approved a plan to merge the organizations.
The name of the new, combined organization, headquartered in New York City, is the Magazines and Books at Retail Association (MBR).
The official announcement was made today during the annual Magazines at Retail conference, being held June 13-15 in Greenwich, Conn.
As a merged entity, the two trade organizations, which already share a number of members and associate members, will encompass magazine and book publishers, national distributors, wholesalers and retailers.
In a letter to members of both trade groups leading up to the merger, Jay Felts and Will Michalopoulos, who were respectively the chairmen of the boards of IPDA and PBAA, stated: "Representing the boards of each organization, it is our promise that the new association will deliver focused, effective programs and services to all members, irrespective of size, and drive solutions to address today’s industry dynamics in a manner that meets the speed of change. Together, all members of our supply channel will offer a fresh and strengthened voice for the industry--an industry association for our future."
Tom Cox, VP, Mass & Distributor Sales, Penguin Random House, has been elected Chairman of the new organization, as well as a board member. MBR’s other elected board members are Felts, who is President of Comag Marketing Group; Robert A. Castardi, advisor to the board, Curtis Circulation Company; Rich Jacobsen, President and CEO, Time Inc. Retail; Bruce Sherbow, SVP, Penny Publications; and John MacKethan, VP, Circulation Director, National Geographic Magazine and Publisher, National Geographic History. Jose Cancio continues as Associate Director.
“IPDA and PBAA have always worked closely together. The merger will allow us to focus our efforts, resources and voices; strengthen our programs; and accomplish all of this in a more efficient manner,” said Jerry Lynch, who will transition from President of IPDA to President of MBR.
Rich Alleger, former executive director of PBAA, who will assume new capacities within MBR, said: “The PBAA board, primarily elected by members, worked consistently with the IPDA board to arrive at the right structure. I'd like to thank them for their guidance.”