3 Questions for Summit Business Media’s New CEO
Summit Business Media, a business-to-business media company serving the insurance, investment and professional services markets, announced this week the appointment of Andrew Goodenough as president and CEO. Goodenough was previously serving as president, but will now assume William Reilly’s CEO responsibilities as well.
Reilly originally formed the company (backed by Chicago private equity firm Windpoint Partners) in November 2006 with the acquisition of two companies: Highline Media, where Goodenough was CEO, and Pfingsten Publishing, run by Joe Bennett. The plan all along was for Reilly to step back from his day-to-day duties as CEO at some point, and Goodenough’s continually expanding role prompted the change this week.
Publishing Executive Inbox spoke to Summit’s new president and CEO about the state of his company and the challenges of b-to-b media in today’s world.
Inbox: So what does Summit look like today, as you assume president and CEO responsibilities?
Andy Goodenough: … We’ve done seven acquisitions in our first 21 months. The first two were, of course, to form Summit. We’ve done five since then—two pretty large ones, and three smaller ones. … The company is about triple the size of what I was running less than two years ago. It’s about $150 million in revenue. [Of that revenue,] about 60 percent is advertising revenue, and 40 percent is non-advertising. So we’re diversified with our event division, our reference division, and our data division. We actually have four divisions—those three plus our media division, which is where our magazines and our Web sites are located. The media division is our largest—it’s about 65 percent of our total revenue. …
Inbox: Between the own rising costs of doing business and the current, unfavorable economic conditions a lot of b-to-b media companies are struggling today. What’s on tap for Summit’s next 12 months, and will you be able to continue making acquisitions?
Goodenough: I wish we could say that we were immune from all of those things, but of course we’re not. I think we’ve been fortunate that the markets that we serve are still growing, and the print ad page counts are still growing. I’ve been quoted that print is not dead, and that we can still grow print, which is maybe more important. That’s kind of heresy these days, as no one seems to want to say it. But we’re fortunate in several of our key markets … that print is still growing.