A row of U.S. stamps
A row of U.S. stamps - 


Scott Jagow: From interest rates to postal rates. Today, Congress holds a hearing on how much magazines pay for mailing. The rates just went up in July, and a lot of small publications say it could put them out of business. Jeremy Hobson reports from Washington.

Jeremy Hobson: The new rates make it cheaper for publishers that do the most mailing to use the Postal Service. Some small publications are seeing postal rate increases of 20 percent or more.

Victor Navasky is testifying today. He's publisher emeritus of The Nation magazine.

Victor Navasky: It's costing us another $500,000, in a magazine that has always been on the edge.

Gene Del Polito is with the Association for Postal Commerce, which represents 180 companies, including Time Warner. He says if postal rates are affecting small magazines so much, there's something wrong with their business models.

Gene Del Polito: So the problem is not with the Postal Service. I mean, the Postal Service in this instance is the tail on the dog.

Both sides agree it's unlikely Congress will do anything about the current rate structure, and that today's hearing has more to do with sparing small publications from being hit by future rate hikes.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson