Magazine publishers said to be 'very close' to digital distribution deal

Rumors of magazine publishers striking a deal to make their content available for digital devices -- even a certain tablet -- have been around for quite a while now, but it looks like something may finally be close to really happening. As The New York Observer reports, Time Inc. exec John Squires has been taking the lead on the initiative (and is apparently set to become interim head of the new company), which would see rival publishers including Time, Condé Nast and Hearst join together to make over 50 magazines available in digital form, and for a variety of devices. Details are otherwise a bit light, as you might expect, but one source familiar with the situation reportedly says "it's very close and more imminent than it's been," while others familiar with the plans say they "compare to iTunes," and that you'll be able to buy "new and distinct iterations" of magazines like of The New Yorker or Time -- and even actual print editions, for that matter.