Still Fit to Print
Sheehan: There's no question that "innovation" is on everyone's mind. Finding ways to make magazines more timely and interactive for both readers and advertisers is driving a wealth of opportunities for printers. We have created significant value for our customers through special high-impact units, schedule compression, format changes, distribution and mailing innovation and more.
How do you think the printing industry in general has weathered the recession? Do you see signs of improvement in the business climate?
Angstrom: There are fewer printing companies than last year, and our industry forecast is for fewer printing companies yet again. That said, our economy is cyclical and supports our continued drive to produce and achieve better results. Print remains an effective communication vehicle. We see improvement going forward for productive and efficient printing companies, who leverage opportunity to their advantage.
Simon: I'm not 100-percent confident that the bottom has been felt yet. There has not been enough history in a few short months to say that we are in recovery. When you look at a 30-percent decline, a 3-percent uptake does not have a significant meaning. Clearly we are not 90 days into a recovery—this is not what a recovery looks like. It's brutal. It's not just a matter of declining revenues. It's a matter of people, jobs, livelihoods, families—a whole standard of living. This [recession] could last several years, but we are prepared to manage through the long haul if necessary.
Jensen: The recession took a toll on printers at every level. All you need to do is look at the continued [industry] consolidation. The stronger players took prudent steps to save costs through rationalization measures while at the same time diversifying to accommodate a changing marketplace. Still, I think both publishers and printers remain confident in the power of print magazines to effectively reach targeted audiences and deliver real value to both readers and advertisers.