Working Mother Media President Carol Evans: Building a Major Brand Into a Franchise
Skodzinski: Where is Working Mother Media investing most heavily?
Evans: Working Mother Media made a big investment in 2006 when we acquired Diversity Best Practices, a corporate membership organization devoted to diversity and inclusion (D+I) in corporations. We continue to develop and grow this institution, which is now part of our global initiative, as we help companies figure out global strategies and solutions to D+I needs.
We are also investing in television, and are currently developing our "Working Mother" TV show, an ET [Entertainment Tonight] type show for moms who need support for their ambitious lifestyle.
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Skodzinski: Has your role as president changed in recent years?
Evans: My role has not changed as much as I thought it might when I sold Working Mother Media to Bonnier. I have a boss now, but anyone who has had investors knows that there is always a boss. Terry Snow, CEO of Bonnier, allows me to continue to build around my passions, but has been a very strong partner in helping us to focus on profitability. While Bonnier is a large corporation, Terry and his team keep their entrpreneurial spirit strong, which I greatly appreciate.
Skodzinski: What is something your company did right to survive the recession?
Evans: What WMM did right during the recession was to continue diversifying our product line so that the loss of ad revenue could be offset by smaller declines or increases in non-advertising revenue streams.
Skodzinski: What is the best business decision you have made during the past year or two?
Evans: The best decision I made over the last two years was to reduce the number of people who report directly to me. With Terry's help, I created a more matrixed organization and reduced my direct reports from 13 to just six. This has allowed me to spend less time managing people and more time creating and selling products. It also gave my managers a greater sense of responsibility and accomplishment.