Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Publishing Executive HERE
Follow us on
Ron Matejko

The Digital Domain

By Ron Matejko

About Ron

Ron Matejko is the President of Phoenix, Ariz.-based MVP Media, an award-winning digital publishing company. Matejko has 16 years of publishing experience in print, Web and mobile and has worked on the staff of two award-winning publications.

MVP Media publishes MVP Magazine, the first interactive sports publication, which won a Bronze 2010 Digital Magazine Award for Best Sports Magazine, besting entrants from 26 countries around the world, and was a finalist for Designer of the Year. MVP Media will launch its own magazines on the iPad in 2011.

MVP Media also helps existing publishers convert their print products into dynamic publications for the web and tablets. Visit the MVP Magazine website at Contact Ron by e-mail at, or connect with him on LinkedIn or on Twitter @mvp_media.


Media Vent

Bob Sacks
The Answer to Publishing's Enigma of Survival
Jan 27, 2015

Many of the people who read this blog are in one way or another devoted to the process of print....

B2B Beat

Andy Kowl
Private Equity Firms Taking Over B2B Media
Jan 13, 2015

Private Equity firms are now the dominant players in B2B publishing. They probably own less than half of all B2B...

Publishers' Dojo

Linda Ruth
Nook’s VP of Marketing on “Delivering An Experience” on Ereaders
Dec 19, 2014

I spoke with Jeanniey Mullen, VP of Marketing for Nook. Jeanniey spent five years developing and marketing Zinio's award-winning digital...

Industry Insiders

The Insiders
The Real Cost of Content Marketing
Dec 10, 2014

How do you respond to advertisers who want to blog more and advertise less? Do you discuss with them the...

The Digital Market

Thea Selby
Top 5 Mobile Trends for Publishers—It’s Good News, Folks
Jul 7, 2014

Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is one of my s/heroes. In this day and age of branded...

Pub Talk

Denis Wilson
Facebook Co-Founder and New Republic Publisher Chris Hughes: Why Print is the ‘Crown Jewel’ of the Business
Jun 4, 2014

Last month I had the chance to attend the Adobe Digital Symposium in New York. Much of sessions focused on...

Publisher's Paradox

Andrew Davis
Publisher’s Paradox: Your Newsletter Subscribers Are Being Overfed
Apr 28, 2014

Charlie Magazine, based in Charleston, South Carolina, isn't asking its readers to subscribe to everything. Instead, Charlie is inviting readers...

Time Inc.'s Woes Due to Half-Hearted Effort

When word leaked that Time Inc., was looking to shed its print publications I only half jokingly blamed, at least in part, this stunning news to the company's misguided approach to bundling its digital and print subscriptions.

While Time Inc. was an early adopter in producing digital magazines for tablets, it has only been a half-hearted effort. It didn't fully believe in the business model that was re-emerging where people actually paid for content. Instead it continued relying on the decades-old sleight of hand where publishers pumped up their circulation numbers by any means necessary to attract ad revenue.

On top of that, its digital magazines have been nothing more than poor replicas of their print publications. Two years ago, Sports Illustrated impressed many with the prototype of its digital magazine for the iPad. To date, that has been their best effort. Exhibit A: last year I downloaded an issue after a few month hiatus in hopes that SI would use its deep well of resources to innovate the industry. Instead, I was met with a Derek Jeter story that featured 19 consecutive pages of only text (no exaggeration). I quickly returned to the cover to see if it said Yellow Pages.

Time magazine is no better, as in addition to a declining quality of content due to a steady elimination of top-notch writers, its digital magazine is nothing more than a pdf replica. Pick another Time Inc., title, and the result is the same.

Add a poorly executed digital business model and a poorly designed stable of digital magazines to an industry-wide newsstand sales collapse and a reported 30-percent decline in revenue at Time Inc., during the last five years, and this fire sale was inevitable.

Digital publishing is serving as a tool of attrition for the entire industry. No longer can bad magazines slide by with artificially inflated numbers that attract clueless media buyers who are blinded by a shiny number, even though there is rarely any tangible reporting to prove return on that investment.

Now that advertising revenue is rushing to digital and mobile properties and away from print, those same titles are being exposed as the frauds they were. Look at the titles that have folded in the last two years. Name one that would widely be considered a good magazine. And if it so happened to be a good magazine, then its number must have been inflated; otherwise it would be making money.

Bad magazines that think they can shed their bloated print costs and transition to a digital format, as if that will suddenly improve their magazines, will find they are only whistling past the graveyard.

Instead, quality will again reign supreme. With superior analytics that can detail every bit of engagement with content and advertising within a digital magazine, those who have REAL readers will not only survive, but thrive. Meanwhile, the publishing fat cats who have been in cruise control for the last four decades are unprepared to adjust to this undeniable truth and it is only a matter of time until time runs out on them as well.

Companies Mentioned:



Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: