(Almost) Live Coverage: 2007 American Magazine Conference
The 2007 American Magazine Conference, hosted by the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), kicked off yesterday in Boca Raton, Fla. This year’s theme—”The MagaBrand Revolution”—aims to tackle how publishers can extend their brands’ footprints beyond the printed page and “into all corners of the target audience’s consciousness,” according to the 2007 AMC Conference Chair David Zinczenko, who is also the senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Men’s Health.
I’m live at the event, where attendees like myself are trading the 85-degree, sunsplashed weather that’s just outside for the freezing cold and crowded conference sessions inside the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Call us crazy, but the MPA has put together an interesting lineup of top execs from the consumer magazine space, along with a number of high-profile ad agency players, and other media moguls.
Monday morning’s general sessions included a spirited panel discussion centered around how publishers can position their companies for growth in the 21st century. One of the more notable comments of the session came from Jonas Bonnier, whose Bonnier Corp. purchased Time Inc.’s Parenting Group and Time4 Life titles earlier this year, when he lamented the inability of publishers to capitalize on the offerings of the Web in its formative years. “We saw [the digital era] coming and we still missed it,” he said. He then went on to predict that TV, radio, book and magazine companies will still derive “at least 50 percent” of their revenues from traditional sources in five years, but that this may not be the case with newspapers or b-to-b magazine publishers moving forward.
Wenda Harris Millar, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s president of media, said: “Speed kills—if you don’t have it,” referring to the fact that consumers are “way ahead” of publishers in terms of their understanding and use of the Internet. And yet, “Brands have never had a better opportunity to strut their stuff … than now, because the consumer [still] needs an editor.” She then challenged publishers and editors to make the user “a part of the process … opening up to the user an opportunity to [have a voice],” citing the rise in popularity of user-generated content in recent years.
Stay tuned to PubExec.com’s Pub Talk for more coverage from AMC.