2010 Hall of Fame: Bill Amstutz
There, Amstutz met Steve Weitzner, now CEO of Ziff Davis Enterprise. "Bill … emerged as one of the best people and business managers in the company," says Weitzner. "His people skills became immediately obvious in the merging and consolidation of two very large staffs with disparate cultures. When I became COO and later CEO of CMP, Bill was a trusted lieutenant and confidant. He added expertise in audience development to his portfolio and had a hand in nearly every operational aspect of the business, which was quite large and complex at that point."
In fact, Amstutz counts the integration of CMP and Miller Freeman, and this year's integration of several Reed Business Information titles NewBay acquired, among his greatest achievements. That and, he says, "the reinvention of the production process—the whole digital thing. For so many years, it was a thorn in everyone's side."
Constant Change: 'Super-fun'
"The whole digital thing" and today's need for "reinven-tion"—from production to business models to skill sets—is, for Amstutz, decades after aspiring to be in the Hall of Fame, nothing shy of an "amazing time to be working in the industry," he says. "So much is changing … and it's just so not static, that it's super-fun," he laughs.
"… And now with all the channels of digital media, the stakes are greater because we're looking at our business models and the way we can reach audiences and … fulfill advertisers' needs in new ways—super-fun," he says.
Embracing Multimedia, But Not Print's Bad Rap
Aiding his adaptability is his perspective on publishing itself. "I think it's less about the publishing side of things and more about servicing our advertising customers who may want to market to a specific demographic … or community—they can come to magazines for that, and [publishers] can provide not just a print presence, but also the other media channels," says Amstutz.