Show Notes: Editors & Mag Execs Evolve With The Times
It was a powerhouse session at our magazine keynote presentation this year at the Publishing Business Conference. We asked four top execs to speak to the topic of Facing the Future, and to share some thoughts about profit, innovation, risk and what they fear most. Each one of these publishing leaders had a lot to add to the dialogue.
Michela O'Connor Abrams, president of Dwell Media, has a broad perspective on the future. Imagine her standing in front of a white board. In a circle in the center she'll write the words "Media Company of the Future." From there she'll draw arrows heading toward this circle. At the outer end of one arrow are content providers such as Yahoo and AOL. Dangling from another arrow are those who reformulate existing content, such as Flipboard. Another is advertisers, and another is big magazine brands: Hearst, Condé Nast, Meredith, and, of course, Dwell.
"Everybody's racing to the same place," says O'Connor Abrams. "We're all fighting for engagement. Staying where you are is not sustainable." Those who master the future will be paying attention to three key things: content, community and commerce. O'Connor Abrams's "3 Cs" are where she's placing her focus, all while "making sure that people don't put her in the magazine bucket." 50% of the company is currently based on the magazine, she says. In the future, it could be 30%. "Dwell is working hard to sustain credibility on all other platforms."
Mark Howard, chief revenue officer of Forbes Media, is focused on brand impact. He wants to build a meaningful dialogue with his audience that crosses all revenue streams. Howard notes the rapidly increasing volume of people using mobile to access information, and says that at Forbes, they work to "keep up with the shift in consumer behavior."