The 5 O’Clock Split
Tyler Imoto took on the role of ad production manager of Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated family of magazines a year and a half ago. He now heads up the ad production staff for Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Kids, Sports Illustrated Latino and Sports Illustrated Presents, and the various commemoratives and custom publications Sports Illustrated produces.
What are your duties and responsibilities?
Tyler Imoto: I oversee the ad production staff who receive ad materials in the form of PDF/X-1a from ad agencies or engravers …. We check the file closely to make sure there are no errors that would cause the ad to print incorrectly.
Can you offer any practical tips for production managers/directors?
Imoto: If you don't already, always pad a deadline with at least a few days, weeks if you can get away with it.
What are some tricks you’ve picked up to help juggle the overlapping schedules of the various weekly magazines?
Imoto: Constantly streamlining processes to lighten the workload. Certain technological developments such as virtual proofing and our own ad portal have reduced time spent per ad, giving us more time to take on overlapping production schedules. Also, keeping processes the same for all titles is key. When we took on SI Kids production last year, we worked on applying our weekly procedures to the monthly.
On a broader scale, we work closely with the production departments at our sister weeklies, Entertainment Weekly, Time and People. Keeping all of our processes similar makes it easy to work together.
How does the production schedule work when you have titles coming out back to back with only a handful of days separating them each week?
Imoto: All work revolves around the production schedule of the weekly issue. Our team of three works on a rotation, coordinating one weekly issue over a three week period. The week after an issue prints is the slowest, which is when work gets done on the other projects. Though each member is assigned to head up their own issues, everybody truly works as a team, backing each other up when they have the extra time.