NAPCO CEO Ned Borowsky: 'Our total audience increased by 25 percent in 2011'
Founded 53 years ago by Irvin J. Borowsky, four employees and a magazine, Printing Impressions (today the industry's best-known magazine for printing and graphic arts worldwide), North American Publishing Co. (NAPCO) has grown to become a formidable force in publishing, with 15 magazines (including Publishing Executive), 20 e-mail newsletters, subscription services, several trade shows and a number of virtual shows, and more than 120 employees.
One of the Philadelphia-based company's strengths is its aversion to debt. It has, for half a century, remained debt free and free of shareholder pressures. It has continued to remain entrepreneurial, launching several new publications and products over the past decade, and more in the works. It also has acquired several online sites, including Gadgetell.com, Gamertell.com, Appletell.com and TeleRead.com.
Ned S. Borowsky, president and CEO, joined the company 28 years ago to ensure continuity of management and growth in the coming decades, and has steered the company through several of the most challenging periods in publishing's history.
Here, Borowsky talks about his outlook on print (hoping for a flat 2012), NAPCO's biggest challenges, its growth areas and focus on audience development and data as it forges ahead in a highly transitioning industry.
The Revenue Picture
Noelle Skodzinski: What is your overall financial outlook heading into 2012?
Ned Borowsky: 2011 has been a very challenging year for many businesses and particularly business-to-business publishing.
At NAPCO, we expected the revenue gains in 2010 to continue into 2011. Accordingly, we budgeted 2011 aggressively for growth, which we now see was unrealistic. Ad spending particularly in the second half slowed in response to economic pressures. We were also affected by the tsunami in Japan, which wiped out four to six months of Japenese ad spending that would have otherwise occurred. Now the flood in Thailand is slowing down key manufacturing sectors, which in turn will slow down related ad spending.