The magazine industry lives and dies on ideas, ideas combined with strong execution. And typically the second part, the execution, is measured around mid-year, around now.

That’s when publishing companies assess their performances for the first half, plan for the second half and especially, plan in a strategic sense for the coming year. All kinds of questions get asked: Are we hitting our numbers? If not, why not? How will we make it up? Have we budgeted enough for this initiative? That initiative? Are those the right priorities for our business? Is our organization structured correctly to accomplish what we want to do? How must we change? What are the key competitive and internal impediments to success?

The following seven pages are dedicated to answering those questions. We called this report "Building the Big Idea," and we asked 12 of the industry’s most creative thinkers, from all sectors, to tell us what their Big Idea is for the second half of 2007 and into 2008. We wanted to know what two or three big, strategic priorities these top executives are communicating to the enterprise;and how they’re marshalling their resources to get the job done. And we asked them to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that surround those ideas.

In the pages that follow, you’ll find some of the same things you’ve been struggling with, as well as what you perhaps should be struggling with;and, finally, some creative solutions.

Cathleen Black
CEO, Hearst Magazines

Frank Anton
CEO, Hanley Wood

Carol Evans
CEO, Working Mother Media

John Koten
CEO, Mansueto Ventures

Craig Waller
Chief Marketing Officer, Pace Communications

Cliff Sloan

Bob Biolchini
CEO, PennWell Publishing

William Pollak
President & CEO, ALM Media

Bob Carrigan
President, IDG

Randall Lane
President, Doubledown Media

John Kilcullen
Senior Vice President, Performing Arts, Nielsen Business Media

Ed Kelly
CEO, American Express Publishing

Expanding Your Brand into Live Events
Check out this related session at The Folio: Show, November 1-2 in NYC!

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