“TMB” (Temporary Magazine Blindness) Considered Untreatable By the CDC

News from the present: By Felix Chartae

Magazine doctors on staff at the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA have determined that the common disease known as “TMB” or Temporary Magazine Blindness has neither a known cause nor cure.

“We pretty much tell staffers to hunker down and deal with it,” said Dr. Tristus Adversus, Dr. Pub., a consultant to the federal disease agency.

“TMB” occurs whenever a magazine publisher walks by a newsstand and fails to see their publication on that rack. This disease is also known to strike magazine advertisers. The magazine is there, but both the publisher and the advertiser not only fail to see the magazine, but they will believe they are seeing large quantities of their competitors magazine on display.

“It’s a very unusual sort of blindness or hysteria that seems to affect only people who work in this industry,” said Dr. Adversus. “We’re not sure of the cause or what we can do to alleviate their suffering.”

It’s the symptoms of “TMB” that have both publishing doctors and the staffs at many magazine publishing companies concerned.

“Oh, the rages that we have seen are quite destructive,” remarked Dr. Adversus as he left a tony midtown Manhattan office where he had just treated several senior magazine executives and their key advertisers. “All of the data, all of the pictures, everything was right there in front of them and they simply could not see it. It made them very upset.”

“All we can really do is help them get through it. I usually prescribe a placebo and a Power Point or two. After awhile, they move onto other things,” he mused. “It’s sort of like chicken soup.”

The CDC has identified other symptoms of “TMB” including but not limited to: Anger, resentment, the firing of staff, the hiring of outsourcing consultants to replace staff. Circulation departments, in particular those now rare and endangered newsstand circulation staffs are reduced to cowering in filing cabinets during an outbreak of “TMB”. The disease can also be transmitted throughout certain portions of magazine staffs.  Dr. Adversus has identified smugness in editorial staffs, extreme smugness in digital staffs, and surprisingly, flatulence and shortness of breath in the production staff.

Perhaps the most extreme case of “TMB” recorded in recent years was reported by this blog when the both the publisher and editor of the Eagle, CO based publishing company, Outside the Groove Media, failed to realize they were publishing print magazines for two years.

“I feel kind of silly about that now,” said Peter Westleigh, the publisher of Outside the Groove Media. “But I’m better, now. I only have a few relapses here and there.”

Peter Westleigh and Wendy Ashburnham of Outside The Groove Media discuss his occasional relapses of “TMB” with this reporter. (Source: in-this-economy.com)

“Yes,” sighed Wendy Ashburnham, Director of Audience Development at Outside the Groove, “He is usually pretty OK with things. But he still can’t seem to find our magazines at his local King Sooper.”

This reporter also contacted the drug manufacturer Astra Zeneca to see if they were working on a drug regime for this disease. The company responded that while they care, they can’t help.

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4 Responses to “TMB” (Temporary Magazine Blindness) Considered Untreatable By the CDC

  1. JennyW says:

    You left out all the poor buyers at the headquarters of the retailer. They got their portion of hysteria from publishers. ;)

  2. Chip Smith says:

    Just read the blog and to alleviate this condition of “TMB” Kable Distribution Services has recently unveiled a new site http://www.wheresmymagazine.com for Kable clients. This site will direct the user to enter a magazine and a zip code (Presently U.S. only, Canada will be added with next version).
    This site is available to everyone but only for Kable client publications, the site displays a map and pinpoints the stores who were most recently invoiced copies by the servicing wholesaler.The key here is “invoiced” as we all know differing classes of trade have different merchandising, it is up to the retailer or merchandiser to position the magazine on the fixture and we all know what happens then. This is a valued added service (no cost) for Kable clients only and we hope this tool will help publishers direct their readership to the newsstand in this age of digital content delivery. Kable is asking our client publishers to place http://www.wheresmymagazine.com on their websites and in their printed materials to hopefully drive the consumer to actually buy the publication from the newsstand to help every party in the newsstand distribution chain.

    Chip Smith
    Vice President Client Services
    Kable Distribution Services

  3. That’s an excellent idea, Chip! It may help alleviate some of the milder cases. But the CDC is quite concerned about cases where we know the magazines are there, but “TMB” keeps the sufferer from seeing it.

    • Chip Smith says:

      Well then the CDC will have to go a different route and start screening patients for neurological disorders/blindness/comprehension and all other human afflictions…….

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