BoSacks: The Profit Prophet: Paranoia in Publishing
I realize that I'm not able to offer you any specific prescription to cure your anxiety. The reason for my inability is simple—your fear is not misplaced. None of us are safe, and we all know it. In one way, perhaps, I am at one of the centers of this knowledge base, because I send out 45,000 e-mails each day to the individuals of our industry with my daily newsletter. Every week I receive hundreds of notes, letters, questions and pleas. The concern of these individuals goes across all boundaries and across all job levels. Not only are the journeymen, apprentices and middle management at risk; many in the industry's most senior positions are wondering whether they will still have a job tomorrow.
If I could write some comforting words and tell you it will be all right, I would. The truth is that our industry is actually headed for the next golden age of publishing; I just cannot promise you that everyone who reads this will be part of that future. I am not expressing anything you don't already know, but I feel an obligation to let you know that your observations and concerns are being felt by the rest of us as well.
There is really nothing we can do, but take a deep breath, be indispensable and learn every aspect not only of our own jobs, but of those positions around us. We must understand that as old media transforms, it will be replaced by new jobs, new responsibilities and new opportunities. Although we are still working out what that successful business model will look like, the core of what we do remains the same: We educate, entertain and inform, and we will remain one of the true bedrocks of civilization.
Bob Sacks (aka BoSacks) is a printing/publishing industry consultant and president of The Precision Media Group (BoSacks.com). He also is the co-founder of the research company mediaIDEAS (MediaIdeas.net), and publisher and editor of a daily, international e-newsletter, Heard on the Web. Sacks has held posts as director of manufacturing and distribution, senior sales manager (paper), chief of operations, pressman, circulator, and just about every other job this industry has to offer.