BOCA RATON, FLORIDA—Sounding—and looking—very much like a seasoned politician, Kliger, the outgoing Magazine Publishers of America chairman, delivered another fiery speech to magazine executives at the American Magazine Conference (see: “Magazine Metrics Take It On the Chin at AMC"; “MPA Chair Jack Kliger Blasts Mag Industry Metrics (Again)”), but one with a markedly more optimistic outlook for magazines than in years past.
“We can proceed with confidence,” Kliger said. “A better business model is emerging—we have more streams of revenue than ever before.”
Still, Kliger, whom MPA president Nina Link called “the great unifier,” offered four of what he called the “new rules” for magazine publishers, though they did not seem new at all. Peppering his speech with presidential phrases like “united we stand” and “stay the course,” Kliger warned the industry to stick together and keep the focus on the reader, as well as “digitize and monetize” magazine content online.
“We now see magazines and Web sites work very well together,” he said.
Kliger also emphasized the need for change in audience metrics. Not doing so, he said, “shortchanges the value proposition to the advertiser.”
Kliger used part of his exit speech to criticize magazine companies—those not belonging to the MPA—who have benefitted from his tenure as chairman through such initiatives as postal reform. “They’ve gotten a free ride on the backs of the MPA.”