Jameson Publishing CEO Jim Roddy: On the Recession, the Value of Beer and the Power of Print
Jim Roddy, CEO of Jameson Publishing, is not your ordinary CEO, and the company is not your ordinary business-to-business publishing company. Among the best business decisions Roddy says he made in recent years involves "buying beer" and offering to help his overworked employees. The company, which was launched in 1980, has ranked twice in the top 10 on Publishing Executive's list of "Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For," and in any conversation with Roddy, it's easy to see why.
But Jameson Publishing also has demonstrated a keen sense of serving its audience—both readers and advertisers—with value and offerings that shift as the audience's needs change.
Jameson Publishing produces four print magazines—Business Solutions Magazine, Field Technologies Magazine, Integrated Solutions for Retailers, and ECM Connection—as well as 15 websites, a number of buyers' guides and e-newsletters, all for the IT industry.
Here, Roddy talks about his company's efforts to grow despite the recession, to what he attributes the company's success, where the company is investing most heavily, its MarketConnect online advertising and lead-generation program, and his desire to launch additional print publications to serve new audience segments.
The Revenue Picture
Noelle Skodzinski: What is Jameson Publishing's fastest-growing revenue segment?
Jim Roddy: Both print and online sales are growing at a double-digit rate. Our growth has been across the board.
Skodzinski: To what do you attribute that?
Roddy: Several factors. The economic conditions for our customers are much better than they were the past two years.
But the better economy is only part of the picture. We're gaining traction in print in part because we continued to invest in our product (audience quality and editorial quality) during the recession. Many other publishers slashed their circ budgets, and so the quality of their readership plummeted. Our audience development director is aghast when she looks at some of their BPA statements. They replaced readers with junk. We didn't dare do that.