Publishing Executive Hall of Fame: Rich Zweiback: A ‘Fighter for the Production Cause’
Even in the change-or-die world of publishing, where expecting the unexpected is more than a trite aphorism, newcomers are usually allowed to get their feet wet before experiencing their first dunking. Rich Zweiback wasn't so lucky.
Early in his career, the 2008 Publishing Executive Hall of Fame inductee joined the staff of a promising financial magazine start-up. It was one month before the stock market crash of '87.
"We went from 30 ads in the first issue to three in the second," Zweiback recalls. "It was a great learning opportunity in keeping costs down and making it up as we went along to try to keep things afloat."
Zweiback believes the experience stood him in good stead for dealing with the momentous changes that have affected the industry since then.
"For the past 20 years, I've been used to dealing with crisis situations," he notes. "I've always kind of looked at it as life during wartime, especially these days, so I think those early skills have certainly come in handy."
Leading the Industry Through Change
Whether crafting solutions to myriad challenges as executive director of manufacturing at Lebhar-Friedman Inc., a New York-based business-to-business and medical publisher, or helping to formulate best practices as a member of the Publishers Production Forum and chair of American Business Media's Production/Manufacturing Technology committee, Zweiback has proven to be a trendsetter in his field. He was honored with Media Business' "Innovator of the Year" award in 2005.
"He is a leader in the field of production, and he's demonstrated it by the way he manages his team at Lebhar-Friedman," says William Amstutz, managing partner at Strategic Media Operations and a member of Publishing Executive's advisory board. "The whole idea of what production does is changing, and he has been one of the leaders in that throughout the industry."