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The rumor mill ... a renewal rate that's too high? ... new words. (Reporter's Notebook).

Two titillating rumors circulating the corridors of The Mayflower Hotel at the NEPA conference proved to be wide of the mark, one of them way wide of the mark.

* Word had it that Aspen Publishers Inc.'s health care division was being sold off. But knowledgeable sources (just three days in Washington, D.C. gets me writing like that) told me that Aspen's 16 health newsletters were being transferred to a sister Wolters Kluwer company, Lippencott, Williams & Wilkens.

Aspen's remaining health care properties, however, are for sale.

* Another rumor had Phillips International Inc. laying off 100 people from Phillips Investment Resources LLC. Chairman Thomas L. Phillips said of the job slashing, "No plans, not now nor in the future, to lay off anyone."

John J. Coyle, president of the division, told me that if they laid off 100 personnel "we wouldn't have a company." He said they "have been hit" by the turbulence in the stock market and that they did outsource their customer services last year.

"But we're actually doing very well," Coyle said. "We are even hiring--two marketers and one editor recently."

Renewal rate too high?

Here's a problem we'd all like to have. A publisher told me that his renewal rate was above 90 percent. I enthusiastically passed that information on to another publisher, who immediately responded, "That's not good. That means his price is too low. He should raise his rates--now!"

The second publisher also had this observation: "Those renewing your newsletter should feel slight pain or at least see the value you put on your information."

New words

Every conference spawns its list of buzz words--remember the birth of site licensing, content provider, and stickiness?-- and this year's meeting had delegates discussing:

* Content aggegators

* E-commerce share

* Hybrid and complicated database e-distribution

* Flat fees

* Per-per-drink royalties

* Measurement tools

* Technochrontic (correct me on this one) breakthough.
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Author:Swift, Paul
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 15, 2002
Previous Article:Dr. Leslie Norins inducted into NEPA Hall of Fame.
Next Article:"Father of the forced free trial" reveals what he's learned in 25 years of newsletter publishing. (NEPA Conference Presentation).

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