Prism Media executive Pete May is leaving his position of senior vice president at the company to start his own “green” publishing business. Greener World Media, to be lead by May and partner Joel Makower, will incorporate three already established Web sites, Greenbiz.com, Greenerbuildings.com, and Climatebiz.com, as well as three e-newsletters, into one environmentally focused business.
May said Wednesday he will leave Prism Jan. 12 to join his new company. “Prism’s been great and (CEO) John French has been great in dealing with my departure,” he said. “There’s no ill-will whatsoever. This is just an irresistible opportunity to be part of a great start-up.”
Makower, who is a long-time journalist and May’s Oakland, California, neighbor, started the company as a nonprofit in 1999 while living in Washington D.C. He said the time is right to move the business to a for-profit model and chose May as a partner because of his diverse advertising and marketing background. “You never go into business without a good a salesperson and Pete is not only a good salesperson, but a good strategist with experience in building out a range of properties across a range of sectors,” Makower said.
Because it’s a small company, Makower will handle content and product development, and May will concentrate on sales, marketing and “everything else,” May joked. “There is not a Fortune 500 company that is not thinking about (green) issues strategically,” May said. “It’s the greening of business. From energy efficiency to controlling toxics to sustainability, it’s hard to think of a pivotal area of interest that these companies are not focused on.”
Initial plans for the new company call for building out and expanding the current Web site and e-newsletter publications, May says. “The second phase would be building out individual channels that would focus on topics like greener computing, greener design, greener material, and other greener platforms. The long range plans include building a professional networking platform where individuals can share information on green topics and sustainability.”
Revenue will be generated through advertising on the sites and e-newsletters, as well as through sponsorship opportunities, said Makow. “We’ve created 16 specific advertising and sponsorship categories for everything from travel and technology, to office products and building, and each of those will be anchored by a specific company,” he said.
The company will also be unique for a publisher in that it will start off broadly and move into narrower niche focuses as it progresses, the two said.
Plans, at least for now, do not include adding any print publications to the product mix, said May, who has spent the majority of his career working for large companies, but worked with a technology publishing start-up in the 1980’s. “The green technology revolution is different than the technology revolution in the 80’s, but it’s similar in terms of the enthusiasm and critical mass building behind it,” May added.