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'Dramatic Restructuring' Could Become the Norm in 2009

With M&A light, media banker introduces 'operational restructuring' practice.


Matt Kinsman By Matt Kinsman
12/02/2008 -16:01 PM






Publishers aren't the only ones looking for new ways to keep dollars coming in. Media banker DeSilva + Phillips announced yesterday a new "operational restructuring practice," which will offer recommendations for improving financial performance, including "identification of revenue enhancement and cost savings opportunities, operating efficiencies, incentive compensation plans, investment savings and evaluation of strategic alternatives."

The new practice will also review organization structure to identify "possible efficiencies in process and management of the overall business."

Much of the advice will be financial, but use of the word "restructuring" suggests DeSilva + Phillips anticipates dramatic strategic restructuring of publishing companies that may talk a good game with digital but are still built to primarily produce monthly magazines.

Source Media's shift to a pooled editorial model and an organization around communities rather than media (something also adopted by F+W Media) could become the blueprint for other publishers. According to the ABM Financial Trend Report, presented by the Jordan, Edmiston Group, print provided an average of 66 percent in total revenue contribution in 2007, compared to 15 percent for digital, which was actually flat compared to 2005.

Restructurings in 2009 will come fast and furious, and for the smart publishers, they will be based on a longer vision than seeing a quarterly bump in EBITDA.

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