CEO | Source Media
We may never think of a ‚Äúcommunity pool‚ÄĚ the same way again since Source Media‚Äôs CEO Jim Malkin‚Äôs radical restructuring. With nearly 70 magazines, Web sites, events, and professional services shifted into four business groups‚ÄĒBanking, Capital Markets, Technology and Securities and Professional Services‚ÄĒSource may have influenced a new publishing business model.
With print ads down 17 percent‚ÄĒ$6.8 million‚ÄĒfrom 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 ‚Äúdraw from a community pool‚ÄĚ of content generated company-wide. The editor, or ‚Äúcommunity head,‚ÄĚ is responsible for strategy, acquisitions, partnerships and revenue within their group‚ÄĒincluding print, online and events.
‚ÄúIf you‚Äôre American Banker or Bank Technology News, it may be 30 percent or 60 percent of the words in that story but you don‚Äôt need seven good journalists writing the same thing,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúThis 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.‚ÄĚ
Source‚Äôs 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.
Source‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúchief brand officers‚ÄĚ for its women‚Äôs 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.