Hanley Wood CEO Frank Anton's Antics
Hanley Wood. ... Especially for those in the business-to-business publishing world, the company's name seems to be surrounded by a bit of intrigue. Everyone wants to know what Hanley Wood is up to now. Consumer publishers also can learn from the company; it was known as an industry stalwart and strategic innovator long before innovation was necessary to combat the sobering effects of the economic recession.
For more than three decades, the company has published magazines (it now produces more than 30) for the residential and commercial construction industry, and it also creates websites, e-newsletters, events, custom marketing and data services serving those markets.
No small part of the company's image and success is Frank Anton, CEO for the past 5 years and a member of the Hanley Wood team for 30, who himself has become somewhat of a publishing industry icon. In this first installment of the brand-new Publishing Executive Inbox: Executive Insights special monthly edition, Anton talks candidly about Hanley Wood's business, including where print fits in today, and where he sees it headed in the future—and his perspective might surprise you. He also shares insights into the company's most significant challenges, its investment strategy, biggest growth opportunities and more.
The Revenue Picture
Noelle Skodzinski: What is Hanley Wood's fastest-growing revenue segment?
Frank Anton: Definitely electronic media, which, even in a still relatively depressed housing market that we serve, is up about 50 percent this year [over last year].
Skodzinski: To what do you attribute that?
Anton: I think, fundamentally, our customers making the secular shift to electronic communication and away from print. Our print business (in housing-related magazines) over the last quarter is up double-digit percentages versus last year, so we're getting improvement there, too, but the improvment in electronic media is much, much greater.