Question mark over future of William Reed meat publication

Question mark over future of William Reed meat publication

A mystery surrounds the annual directory Who’s Who in Meat published by William Reed Business Media, which also publishes the fortnightly title Meat Trades Journal.

Since buying the Who’s Who title in 2006 the annual meat directory, which was first launched in 1988, has been published by Reed every year backed up with promotional material claiming it to be the industry’s biggest, best and longest established directory and the original guide to the modern UK meat sector. However, latest website information sourced in early June this year still states February publication dates for 2012. The publication has failed to appear so far in 2014 and Meat Management has been unable to establish if an edition was published in 2013.

When Meat Management phoned the sales office of Meat Trades Journal we were told that the Who’s Who in Meat publication had ceased to publish. On checking the Meat Trades Journal website, the information for Who’s Who in Meat confirms it is not currently available. A reproduction of the 2012 edition cover is shown next to the statement still indicating a 2012 publishing date. The separate William Reed website also lists Who’s Who in Meat as part of the range of directories it can offer, but on clicking the link to obtain details a message stating that ‘the requested resource was not found’ is displayed.

In the interests of accuracy and to establish if the title had actually ceased to publish, Graham Yandell, the publisher of Meat Management emailed the company secretary of William Reed Business Media, Robert Proctor, asking him to confirm if what his own staff were saying was correct. A two word reply by email of ‘you misunderstand, was his own reply. Yandell tried again based on considerable evidence to the contrary, asking for clarification, this time Proctor replied saying ‘I have told you the position, I am not going to repeat myself.’

Pamela Brook, the editor of Meat Management commented: “It seems clear that the long established Who’s Who In Meat has not been published this year and may not have done so in 2013 either. In my personal opinion it seems unlikely to make an appearance again. The simple fact is that since the launch of our own Meat Contacts directory in December 2009 the market has changed considerably. With many more pages and a much bigger circulation offered by Meat Contacts I have always felt it was only a matter of time before we saw the market change. If Who’s Who in Meat is still publishing surely all William Reed have to do is say so. We would happily buy a copy!

“At Yandell Publishing we firmly believe that Meat Contacts is by far the best directory of its type in the UK meat market and not only offers a print version but is also available online throughout the year – something Who’s Who in Meat did not offer.”

The confusion surrounding Who’s Who in Meat follows the news that Meat Trades Journal has dropped its membership of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) leaving Meat Management magazine as the only meat publication in the UK market with a guaranteed ABC audit that advertisers can use as an independent verification of circulation claims. In addition, the separate title MTJ Extra – aimed at butchers – was also absorbed into the main MTJ publication last year, despite its launch in 2006 with a fanfare of publicity promoting the new separate publication as offering a dedicated editorial focus for butchers.”

Brook concludes: “There is no doubt that we live in a changing market and readers and advertisers are demanding the very best media available. Our position is simple, we do our best to provide quality media the market can rely on and then let the market decide what it wishes to choose. Our recent investment in apps demonstrates we are prepared to move with the times and to provide information in a convenient modern way for our readers, many of whom want to source information easily on the move.”

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