October 2007 Issue

 

A Closer Look at the Top Companies

Most of us have worked for a company that, as one respondent to Publishing Executive’s “Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For” study put it, “is a god-awful place to work.” If you haven’t, you can count yourself among the lucky few. Sometimes the cause is simple: Some companies just don’t know how to treat employees. But especially today, when “do more with less” is the edict of virtually all publishing departments, burnout and feelings of under-appreciation are rampant. In companies that don’t make their employees’ happiness a priority, these feelings can spread like a plague. The companies that ranked in the top 20


BoSacks: The Profit Prophet

In the past few months, I have been to a half-dozen trade shows and dozens of publishing houses. I have had conversations with all types of vendors to our industry and ad agencies that contribute to supporting the information-distribution system. Lately, I have noticed the resurgence of a common question: Does the next generation actually read? It is still an excellent question, and one worth thinking about. Part of the equation is that we have created a generation of instant-gratification seekers. Reading an in-depth article in a newspaper or magazine does not provide instant gratification. Reading a book takes time and effort. You have to


McMurry’s Secret

Seven years ago, CEO Chris McMurry began offering an anonymous online survey to the employees of his Phoenix-based custom publishing firm, McMurry Inc. The questions on what now is known as “The Best/Worst Survey” are simple: What are the three things you like most about the company, and what are the three things you like least about it? The things that survey respondents like stay in place. For what they don’t like, the employees are asked to offer suggestions on how to fix them. They also have to provide the pros and cons of the proposed solution. “We wanted to know what was on


Qualities of a Not-So-Great Company to Work For

A few months ago, I announced that Publishing Executive would be conducting the first-ever “Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For” study. (And now the issue featuring the results is finally here!) I had mentioned in that announcement that I had a boss at a previous job who could quite realistically be compared to “Mommy Dearest.” I received notes from several readers after that issue, sharing horror stories of their own and asking for more details about my previous experiences. I told one reader how “Mommy Dearest” would stand up in the middle of a staff meeting, at the head of the extra-long, shiny,


Study Methodology

Publishing Executive, along with its sister publication Book Business (for the book publishing industry), commissioned Accelara Publishing Research to conduct the “Best Publishing Companies to Work For” study. Based on survey data, companies were assigned as magazine publishers (eligible for the “Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For” study), as book publishers (eligible for the “Best Book Publishing Companies to Work For” study), or as both (eligible for both studies). Who Could Participate? Participation was open to all magazine and book publishing company employees. Invitations were sent via three e-mail blasts to Publishing Executive and Book Business readers with e-mail addresses on


The 20 Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For

Publishing Executive's first annual list of North American magazine publishing companies that rank highest among their employees.


The Digital Edition: Heading Toward Its ‘iPod Moment’?

When approaching the subject of digital editions—those e-publications that preserve print layouts in a user-friendly format, often enhanced with embedded multimedia features—an obvious question comes to mind: What can this platform offer a publisher that a good Web site cannot? “That’s the question we get all the time,” says Cimarron Buser, vice president of marketing and product planning at Southborough, Mass.-based Texterity Inc., who recently pioneered a digital publishing solution for the Apple iPhone. “We know that the way people read Web sites is different from the way they read magazines,” says Buser. “Web sites are more episodic; there’s a lot of


The Mailing Conundrum

If you publish and mail a magazine, you are already well aware of the impact of the latest postal hikes. The United States Postal Service’s (USPS) 2007 price hike significantly affected both Standard and Periodical rates. Initially, the USPS proposed a change that would increase Periodical rates by an estimated 11.4 percent. The USPS does offer discounts to publishers based on how well the publishers integrate into the USPS’s automated systems with presorting, palletization and other factors. However, publishers do not perform these services … printers do. On its Web site, www.USPS.com, the USPS clearly states its intention to pass responsibility of automation onto