TOP News Limited executives have reportedly told newsagents that leaving the existing 25 percent commission scheme untouched was “not negotiable”.
The revealing comment has been reported in an email bulletin written by the Australian Newsagents Federation.
News Ltd did not have any comment.
Executives, including CEO Kim Williams, held a meeting with state and federal newsagents associations late last week.
It is understood News Ltd wants a national model.
Mr Williams reportedly told the meeting a new system would be rolled out in June 2012 for Queensland with NSW, the ACT and Victoria to follow.
Currently, newsagents are paid commission for each copy sold and gain the benefit of 25 percent of any price rise.
ANF national policy manager Ben Kearney said, referring to News Ltd: “They’re going to move to a fee-for-service model.
“We do need a new remuneration model, there’s no doubt about that.”
The federation wanted a model that was fair, equitable and sustainable, said Mr Kearney.
Newsagents are currently on one-year rolling contracts with News Ltd.
Mr Kearney said the contracts did not provide certainty.
The federation has been in talks with News Limited about a new model for 18 months.
Mr Kearney said there had been very little to show for it.
“We’re supportive of News Ltd making some decision – nothing more than that.”
Mr Kearney said he could not speculate on any concerns the ANF might have about the new model as they were waiting to hear its particulars
The new model will reportedly be finalised at a meeting of News Limited managers in early May.
The current model varies between states and territories.
Last week Fairfax Media commenced paying NSW newsagents a flat fee instead of a commission for sales of the Sydney Morning and Sun-Herald.
Fairfax said the previous commission-based system had become “unworkable”.
The move was accompanied by a rise in cover prices.
Other Fairfax titles will move to the same system when their copy prices are raised.