Digital Media Companies Are Headed for a Crash, Hearst Magazines President David Carey Says
Two-thirds of the profits at Hearst Magazines are still coming from print. And unlike other magazine publishers, David Carey says he’s in no rush to change that.
“We reject this notion of ‘digital first,’ because we think that denigrates the core business,” said Carey, the president of Hearst Magazines, on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “We think there’s a lot of money to be made in the print business.”
Media businesses need a “moat” to protect themselves, Carey explained — Hearst’s is its collection of influential and credible brands, such as Cosmopolitan. And it’s becoming clear that some cash-burning web publishers don’t have much protecting them from failure, he said.
“I think you guys have got a great company here, and real expertise,” he said. “My son and three of his friends can start a competitor tomorrow. You don’t worry about my son and his friends, you worry about the 5,000 versions of my son and his friends, because it only costs them $5,000 and they’re in business.”