Publishing News Archive

Scope and Content

Documents relating to Publishing News Magazine, created by the magazine's staff throughout its existence. The collection includes copies of all editions of the magazine, other book related publications by Publishing News, editor research files on key publishers and booksellers, photographs, documents relating to the British Book Awards, and digital records. There is also a small collection of books relating to the publishing industry. The Publishing News website can be accessed and searched at

Administrative / Biographical History

Launched in 1979 by founders Fred Newman and Clive Labovitch. Fred Newman was born Manfred Neumann in Austria in 1932, and was editor of the student newspaper Cherwell at Oxford, where he met co-founder Labovitch. His first job was with the Daily Sketch. He went on to work at University of Sussex and Phoebus Partworks, part of the British Printing Corporation, where he was Managing Director. He left in 1979 to form Publishing News.

Clive Labovitch was born in 1932 in Leeds. He attended Oxford where he also worked on Cherwell. He went into business with Michael Heseltine in the 1960s, winning the contract to publish the British Institute of Management magazine and forming Cornmarket Press (later Haymarket Publishing). He split from Heseltine and co-founded Publishing News in 1979 after a failed independent venture. He died in 1994.

Newman and Labovitch’s first venture was Skateboard Weekly, formed in Harry’s Bar in Park Lane Hotel’s vacant basement. It was also here that Publishing News was established, and the location lent its name to the paper’s long-standing diarist, ‘Harry Barr’ (a fictional character who many believed to be real). Publishing News focused on the people of the book trade. Many thought the venture would be short-lived: The Bookseller only ever referred in print to its competitor as ‘Skateboard Weekly’.

Publishing News was a twice weekly (later weekly) magazine reporting on all aspects of the book trade. It was commended for giving coverage to the independent sector and self-publishers, and innovations such as daily issues at the London Book Fair, and later the Frankfurt Book Fair. In 1983 the company moved to offices in Museum Street, and in 1990 they launched the first British Book Awards, also known as the ‘Nibbies’. The first awards ceremony, held at the Park Lane Hotel, was a sell-out, and the ceremony continued to grow year on year and attract press and television coverage.

In 2001 Publishing News launched a website covering news and features relevant to the book trade as a companion to its print magazine. Publishing News also bought research agency BML (Book Marketing) in 2003.

The edition of Publishing News published on 25th July 2008 was the last. Fred Newman died in November 2008


Files within each series have been kept in original order. Series have been created based on the activities and types of materials held within the collection.

Conditions Governing Access

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Other Finding Aids

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Conditions Governing Use

Some items in the collection cannot be copied from due to their physical condition or copyright law. Please send all copying enquiries to the Archive at

Corporate Names