From Publishing's Early Days to the Digital Age
Andy Mickus could have been writing on deadline his whole career, but an unfortunate circumstance pushed him, not so unfortunately, into production.
It was the 1960s, the Flower Power era, and Mickus got his first job out of college—an editorial position with Florist & Nursery Exchange, published by Scranton Gillette Communications in Chicago. And, he quickly became the editor of the weekly trade magazine.
On top of his love for writing, though, Mickus had an interest in production that included producing his high school paper, which proved to be a great experience.
"Scranton Gillette was a fairly small magazine publisher," Mickus says. "They only had six titles and one production manager." When the manager died suddenly, the president of the company approached Mickus to step in until a replacement was found.
Mickus enjoyed it and stayed in production, remaining with Scranton Gillette for six years, making a name for himself—so much so that Miller Freeman, then a small family-owned publisher with 15 titles, pursued him.
"I was working in Chicago, and Miller Freeman's vice president of production was reaching retirement age—just like I am now—and they sought me out and convinced me to come to California. And that's really my career—I went from director of production to vice president of production to senior vice president of all publishing services—production and distribution."
This isn't, however, where the story ends. While at Miller Freeman, Mickus was part of an organization that grew into a mammoth company with over 150 titles that pulled in $1 billion a year in revenue.
But Mickus describes his crowning achievement as being appointed to Miller Freeman's board of directors, an appointment, he says, that is seldom bestowed upon production directors.
Being a part of several mergers and acquisitions at Miller Freeman prepared Mickus for his position as senior vice president for publishing services with Access Intelligence. Miller Freeman parent United News and Media, a conglomerate based in the United Kingdom, broke up Miller Freeman into five pieces, selling all but CMP Media. The members of the board of directors, including Mickus, joined Veronis Suhler Stevenson (a merchant bank that buys and sells media companies). The company purchased PBI Media from Phillips International, a financial publisher based in Potomac, Md., and changed its name to Access Intelligence. Now retired, Mickus has stayed on as a full-time consultant to Veronis Suhler Stevenson.