Walking the Walk: McMurry’s new group publisher on how the more things change, the more they stay the same in ad sales.
With more than two decades under his belt leading magazine advertising sales teams, Russ Cherami says he’s ready to try his hand at something a bit different. It’s why the Phoenix-based custom media publisher McMurry recently hired him as group publisher of magazines and Web sites created for the well-regarded company’s top clients—including Amtrak and The Ritz-Carlton. Cherami, who will be based in New York, will focus on expanding four advertising-based custom publications and McMurry’s new-media ventures.
As Cherami starts his new venture, he shares some wisdom from his 19-year tenure at Forbes and his most recent gig as publisher of Saveur Magazine, the gourmet food magazine, with Publishing Executive Inbox. According to Cherami, even though advertising sales has changed quite a bit in his time in the industry, some things just never change.
“We all still talk the talk,” he says. “Walking the walk is more difficult.”
1. Getting closer to your customer by learning their business is more difficult today. But finding ways to be of value will never go out of style.
“Those things still exist today, but those times and that era is gone,” Cherami says. “Certainly early on in my tenure [at Forbes], it was much easier to do. It was just a different time. … What I learned during that time that was of value was getting close to customers and understanding their business and trying to provide solutions. Those things apply to today. It’s just different to do those things. The solutions you apply may be different and the things you have to solve are different, but the challenge and goal and what one has to aspire to remains the same. It was a time when you could do those things quite effectively. It’s much more difficult. But they’re every bit as valid.”