That Light at the End of the Tunnel Is Not a Train, Says Mr. Magazine
Magazine industry advocate Samir Husni, who many know simply as "Mr. Magazine," has made a career out of championing the magazine publishing business. Ever its defender, Husni is not afraid to be among the industry's strongest critics, either. As co-chair of the 2010 Publishing Business Conference & Expo (PBC), he is playing a central role in the development of a conference program for magazine publishers struggling to, as he puts it, "ensure the success and survival of the old and trusted magazines and the new and upcoming magazines."
In an interview on Thursday with Publishing Business Insider, the e-newsleter for the PBC community, Husni blasts the "major media companies ... still in a state of coma ... refusing to believe that the American business model that depends in large part on advertising is dead." But he also offers a number of reasons for optimism, led by the publishers he sees that have begun to sell "experiences rather than content, thus making ink on paper or pixels on a screen more than just content."
INSIDER: You're approaching the one-year mark since launching the Magazine Innovation Center (MIC). Can you tell us what you've been able to accomplish thus far, and what your goals are for the Center in the next year?
SAMIR HUSNI: It has been a busy year completing all the paperwork to create the Magazine Innovation Center and getting all the approvals from the state and the IRS. With that behind us, we are looking to officially launch the MIC this coming spring. However, we were not sitting still in the meantime. MIC hosted its first event last October, when a team of editors, publishers and not-for-profit organizations had a two-day "think-and-do" [workshop] regarding the future of not-for-profit publications in today's digital age.
MIC will continue to host such workshops this year, culminating in a major media event in October when we will host a three-day "think-and-do" workshop to help create "The Must Have Medium," rather than "The Nice to Have" medium. More details on this workshop will be available soon. ... So, stay tuned-you ain't seen nothing yet.