CEO | Source Media
We may never think of a â€ścommunity poolâ€ť the same way again since Source Mediaâ€™s CEO Jim Malkinâ€™s radical restructuring. With nearly 70 magazines, Web sites, events, and professional services shifted into four business groupsâ€”Banking, Capital Markets, Technology and Securities and Professional Servicesâ€”Source may have influenced a new publishing business model.
With print ads down 17 percentâ€”$6.8 millionâ€”from 2007 and debt at $172 million, Source needed a solution to its workflow issue, not necessarily by pooling content experts, but by sharing best practices.
In his reorganization, each title would continue to have an editor-in-chief, but those editors will not have a dedicated editorial team. Instead, they will â€śdraw from a community poolâ€ť of content generated company-wide. The editor, or â€ścommunity head,â€ť is responsible for strategy, acquisitions, partnerships and revenue within their groupâ€”including print, online and events.
â€śIf youâ€™re American Banker or Bank Technology News, it may be 30 percent or 60 percent of the words in that story but you donâ€™t need seven good journalists writing the same thing,â€ť he says. â€śThis is a little hard for the people who entered Columbia Journalism School 20 or 30 years ago with their finely crafted stories but the way information is consumed today is different.â€ť
Sourceâ€™s marketing model also changed, operating as a unit organized around advertising and marketing, circulation and audience development, paid circulation and conference marketing, with a group marketing director assigned to each community. The company, he says, is moving quickly to become largely subscription-based rather than ad-driven.
Sourceâ€™s major move may have set the tone for other publishers. Recently, Hachette Filipacchi decided to break down its editorial silos, pooling resources under similarly-named â€śchief brand officersâ€ť for its womenâ€™s titles with the purpose of developing new revenue streams, selling brand direction across platforms, and integrate print and digital advertising sales.
VITAL STATS: With print ads down 17 percent, Malkin restructured Source into four business groups.