2010 Hall of Fame: Michael Lonier
As someone who was interested in photography and the media from a young age—he began experimenting with a box camera in grade school and even started his own neighborhood newspaper as a child—Michael Lonier dreamt of becoming a photographer for Life magazine. Shortly after completing graduate school, in the late 1970s, he landed at Time Inc.'s production office in Chicago just in time to work on the rebirth of Life (which had shuttered about six years earlier) as a monthly. While not working behind a camera for the storied magazine, he did begin a decade-long tenure at Time Inc., just one facet of an accomplished career in production that has earned him an induction this year into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame.
"Each stop [in my career], I have been fortunate to be driving significant innovation and organization change," says Lonier.
"I've known Michael a very long time, and his breadth of experience has enabled him to clearly understand most facets of the … media business," says Kit Taylor, COO, New York Magazine. "His broad perspective helps him to provide comprehensive solutions and strategic plans."
At Time Inc., Lonier spearheaded the transition from two-color shipped film and Nylo plates for converted letterpresses to run-of-press, full-color for Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune, Money and Life. Additionally, his department moved from buying out conventional film-based prepress to producing it entirely digitally, both text and graphics, transmitting data via a shared HBO satellite bandwidth to 10 domestic and six international locations.
"The competitive lift this gave to our news business in the 1980s was enormous and brought forward the era of digital prepress for the entire publishing industry," he says.
In the 1990s, Lonier and his wife, Elaine Fry—vice president of manufacturing and production at Forbes Media LLC and a 2006 inductee into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame—started their own company, Yuey/Lonier Inc., a technology and operations consulting firm, and soon thereafter, a division called The Color Bureau, a digital prepress and photo studio. Clients included The New Yorker, Boys' Life, IEEE, Hearst and Reader's Digest.