FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Posts Tagged ‘Robert Robotti’

Today in AMS: Annual Meeting Delayed (again), More From Radio Free

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that AMS has, as expected, postponed its annual meeting more than a month following the resignation of one of its directors. Robert Robotti resigned in the wake of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and he had advocated the company go ahead with its annual meeting slated for January 24 – a meeting that would have been the company’s first in four years. Now it’s been rescheduled for February 23, and the company named Marc Ravitz, executive vice president of New York’s Grace & White Co., to fill the vacancy left by Robotti. Grace & White, together with affiliated persons and entities, controls 12 percent of Advanced Marketing’s stock.

On the Perseus & PGW front, the bankruptcy court is still scheduled to meet on February 12 to decide whether the 70 cents on the dollar offer is doable. Publishers Weekly’s Jim Milliot and Claire Kirch report on the “alarm bells” set off by the potential deal. “How can we maintain our visibility when we are becoming an ever-smaller piece of a larger puzzle?” asked Michael Wiegers, executive editor at Copper Canyon Press, which is distributed by Perseus’s Consortium unit. Another Consortium client, Jim Perlman of Holy Cow Press, said he is concerned that with the addition of PGW, Consortium “will lose their ability to handle books with the knowledge and concern they’ve displayed in the past.” Several PGW clients voiced similar questions, wondering where they will fit in at Perseus. “The viability of our list in this marketplace depends in part on a fairly intimate familiarity with what we do,” one PGW publisher said, and another wondered what the “pecking order” will be when all the companies are combined.

As always, for the skinny on the failing fortunes of AMS, check out new offerings from Radio Free PGW. Today they look at the $19 million in books that AMS lost at their Indiana distribution center in 2004, why Perseus may require even longer “float” times than did PGW; and also point people to Mr. Popman’s Place for a breakdown of what might possibly be the real reason AMS hasn’t reported its earnings in several years (hint: a faulty computer system.)

Finally, a disgruntled AMS employee (or management type? Who knows) has decided to strike back. And so we get the lovely “AMS Has WMD” blog, which seems solely designed to take potshots at Radio Free PGW. Make of it what you will, whether from a trolling or humorous perspective…

Mediabistro Course

Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingStarting January 7, work with a published memoir writer to tell and sell the story of your life! In this course, Wendy Dale will teach you how to create your story around a marketable premise, hone your narrative voice, write a memoir with a solid structure, and sell your memoir before you've even finished writing it. Register now!

Today in AMS: Major Shareholder Resigns from Board, PMA Plans PGW Help

What’s a stockholder to do when he’s lost a boatload of money, tried to turn a company around from the inside and received little support? Robert Robotti‘s answer, announced this morning, was to resign from Advanced Marketing Services’ board of directors. Robotti, appointed a director last November, stated that he disagreed with the Board’s decision to proceed with the annual meeting of stockholders on January 24, 2007, as previously scheduled, even though AMS is facing more court battles in the wake of its Chapter 11 filing and its litany of problems going back several years.

Meanwhile, PW has more on Avalon‘s sale to Perseus, confirming that the deal was a long time in coming. “Moving distributors is at least a three-year commitment and I’m not sure I wanted to stay through 2010,” said Avalon president Charlie Winton. As discussions with Perseus progressed, Winton became convinced that the company, with its decentralized structure and satellite offices, would be a good fit for Avalon. Radio Free PGW’s perspective is that the selloff won’t make that much of a financial difference to the fortunes of Publishers Group West, but “the death knell for PGW would be if Grove/Atlantic, Berrett-Koehler and perhaps New World cut and run.”

And what of those other PGW clients whose distribution fate hasn’t been decided? PW Daily reports that PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association, has put together a plan it hopes will help out with some of the “extremely challenging issues” for PGW clients. According to PMA director Terry Nathan, the association plans to act in three areas: establish a network of printers that will do short runs of books, to get inventory back in the control of the affected publishers; contact financial institutions to provide short-term business interruption loans; and look for other distributors to step in and help with interim distribution and/or cash flow.

A Brief, Somewhat Turbulent History of AMS

As the Advanced Marketing Services Chapter 11 Filing takes more twists and turns (many of them appear in a post below) it’s helpful to turn the clock back a few years and go through the accounting scandals, fraudulent claims, federal investigations, criminal charges, civil actions, guilty pleas and resignations that have dogged AMS for years – and are almost certainly the strongest mitigating factors leading to their bankruptcy filing. What emerges is a story of a company that preferred self-aggrandizement to truth, bold claims instead of realistic expectations and a ship that started sinking years ago until the wreckage became so decimated that the only real recourse, especially for suddenly-struggling independent publishers, is to splinter and start over.

Read more