Bob Wiemers

With no government bailout in sight to rescue their ailing industries, more than 1,200 magazine- and book-publishing executives convened at the 2009 Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York City, March 23-25, in search of strategies to help them weather the worsening storm. And while much of the discussion centered around cost-cutting, the topic of innovation took center stage throughout the event, which featured nearly 60 educational sessions and more than 125 speakers.

I put a challenge out to "Mr. E-Paper" himself, Bob Sacks. Let me spill my drink on his e-book reader and then spill some more on the magazine he was carrying around. Which one would he replace faster?

The publishing industry is feeling the effects of the economic recession, and keeping your employees motivated amid significant budget cuts and layoffs can be a tall order. Still, with the right attitude and a few important actions, you can help your workers engage and even thrive in their jobs.

As Bob Wiemers likes to say, there's no merit badge for publishing. But that's OK with him. As operations director for the magazine division of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), he's happy to let the organization concentrate on shaping boys into responsible young men while he puts his efforts into making sure Boys' Life and Scouting get into the hands of more than 1 million readers each month—on time, on budget and as efficiently as possible, all while maintaining the highest standards for quality. It's something Wiemers has done so well, in fact, that although he needs no merit badge for his hard work, he has earned some pretty significant recognition—including induction this year into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame.

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