Pruning for Growth
Last year certainly did not end with a whimper. From cost-cutting moves at Time Inc. on down, three words seemed to be apt for the coming year: less is more. Still, while companies have to be quick to cut the fat, they can’t be afraid of growth, something that e-media doesn’t just call for—it demands. Publishing Executive spoke with presidents and CEOs of a handful of leading publishing companies to get a glimpse of what they believe will be most important to the industry this year, how their companies are dealing with the challenges afoot, and why their positions are more demanding than ever.
Focused On E-Media
First, electronic media was a novelty, then it was supposed to be the “print killer,” and now it’s clear that it’s just one more aspect of successful publishing—though one that can make or break you.
“In a lot of ways, we’re still trying to figure out electronic media for our audience,” says Frank Anton, CEO of Hanley Wood. “They now accept e-media as part of our business, but how much business should go from print to online migration still depends on how advertisers feel. I think they’re still a bit undecided. But you can’t wait on them, so we’re hiring more in every area of e-media—from editorial to sales to tech support. You can’t allow your company to be left behind.”
Jonathan Simpson-Bint, president of Future US, which produces action sports and video game titles such as Official Xbox Magazine, agrees. His company was really a forerunner in multimedia publishing. “It feels like it’s always been a part of us,” he says, “because our magazine has been coming out with CD-ROMs and DVDs for years. For us, the biggest issue is not a shortage of ideas or content, but a shortage of available workers and time. All of our magazines are in deeply vertical areas, a specialized niche where we need a strong approach to content.”