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Rival Publishers Collaborate on iTunes-type Store

The New York Observer reports that a number of rival publishers are coming together to create an online store similar to iTunes, however the new business won't be selling music, movies, and games. Instead, the digital store will sell magazines on devices including Apple's iPhone, Microsoft Zune HD, Blackberry smartphones, and more. Currently the deal isn't set in stone, however an official deal could be announced in the coming weeks.

If successful, the online collective of publishers will offer popular digital magazines such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, Time, and People. Even Oprah's "O" magazine will be available for purchase and download in the new digital newsstand. The New York Observer said that the new company will not develop an e-book reader, but will instead just focus on the digital store. The company will offer print versions of its magazines as well.

The New York Observer also recites unnamed sources, reporting that John Squires, an executive vice president at Times Inc., is planning to leave Time to become the interim executive of the new company. "His term is expected to be six months, during which time the group will search for a permanent executive," the Observer said.

 Newspaper publishers are gearing up for the worst as revenue continues to decline. Many publishers believe it's too risky to find new ways to make consumers pay for content on their own. As a group, it's believed that they stand a better chance in generating new revenue.

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