BoSacks Speaks Out: The MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, is looking for its next CEO.
These are indeed turbulent times for a transforming industry, and forward thinking leadership is critical for the industry to help us adjust to these changing times. Newsstand sales and subscription sales in general continue to diminish. Are there standouts bucking the overall industry trend? Yes, most assuredly. But overall, the trends are down for the industry. Clearly we need to develop and broadcast a strategy that plays to our strengths and comes to grips with our weaknesses. Being in continual denial of our current position in the media wars just won't work.
For the record I am not a pessimist for the magazine media industry, nor a detractor of the print product. What I am is an unashamed realist. Print can accomplish things that digital can't and can provide a sizable ROI while doing so. At the same time it is obvious digital can accomplish feats that print products can only dream of. The downside with digital thus far is its slow growth of monetization for the magazine industry. What we need is the marriage of the two disciplines combining digital's creativity and its accountability gained from increasingly reliable metadata with the comfort and traditions of print.
Where will this industry be in five years? Dare I ask where we will be in ten? The answer is surely not where we are now. In ten years we will have risen out of our current situation and probably be known as some sort of superior information distributors. We will have to become a valued source of always on, always reliable, pertinent information, be it educational or entertainment.
The answer is to deliver what the readers want, exactly as they want it, exactly when they want it, and on the precise substrate they want it on. There is no other way. This industry needs to be an advocate for the future and not cling to the enthusiasm of our long-gone forefather's media agenda. We need to promote our superior ability to connect the avid reader/consumer and the makers of products and services.
I throw my hat into the ring and offer my services to the MPA in any way the Board think is appropriate and helpful.