Hearst Magazines CEO: Chinese Government Won’t Allow Content Control

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In Saturday’s NYTimes, Hearst Magazines International CEO George Green painted a slightly rosier picture of the magazine business in the digital age than might be expected. Much ado has been made of the digitization of magazines — a strategy that Hearst has fully embraced — but Green also touts the benefits of overseas publishing. This month, for example, Hearst’s Town and Country joins Cosmopolitan, Seventeen and Good Housekeeping in the Philippines. Also, earnings at Hearst Magazines International last year were up 17 percent.

Green tells Claudia H. Deutsch that the huge subscription discounts here do not apply overseas, where circulation as well as subscription fees drive the business. Unfortunately, there is the China problem. From the NYTimes:

”Local laws are different, for one thing. In Malaysia, the government reviews the content of all magazines, so you need partners who fully understand what you can and cannot get away with. The Chinese edition of Cosmo is also called Trends Lady. Trends is our partner in China, and the Chinese government will not allow a licenser to control content.”

If you go in for that sort of thing.

(image via clipart)