The 5 O’Clock Split
We’ve had a lot of veteran staff. Even though we do have some turnover, we still have a core of people that have been here 15 to 20 years. It makes it easier to be successful because you’re not dealing with gobs of training issues.
Occasionally an advertiser will [need to fix a typo in his/her ad at the last minute]. We’ll accommodate them and fix things as long as the issue hasn’t printed. In terms of selling late, we’ll bend a little, but our final cutoff happens before it drives our prepress crew too crazy.
PE: What’s the secret to maintaining a balance between your professional and personal lives?
PVK: I certainly don’t have any complaints in that area. Occasionally, I’ll have some spurts where I’m doing some training. We have a really interesting feature of the company: We started a university—Taunton University. Managers create classes that help the employees know more about the publishing business. The more you live within a magazine publisher, the more respect you have for how complicated a business it is.
We have two semesters every year, and there's about 30 classes a year. There are classes on advertising and production, and who we are in the marketplace and who our competitors are. It’s a fascinating way to get everybody in the business to have a better understanding of the dynamics of publishing. And it brings a lot of context and a lot of culture into our workforce and helps us all feel in on things at Taunton. Teaching a class like that is usually a large commitment. Other than that, it’s been a pretty sane thing. I work eight hours to try create a really healthy and fun place for my team to work, and then I can go home and have fun until I come back.