ceo | Phoenix Media Network
While most Publishers serve markets facing a downturn, Phoenix Media Networkâ€”which covers the food industryâ€”is merely seeing a shift in emphasis. â€śThere is a bit of a trading down from restaurants to retail and trading down in retail to more value-oriented retailers, but things really have to get bad before people cut back on the amount of food they eat,â€ť says CEO Jim Prevor. â€śMore food was sold in 2008 than 2007 and more will be sold in 2009 than 2008.â€ťÂ
In June, Phoenix will launch a new 20,000-circulation magazine called Cheese Connoisseur, an upscale specialty cheese title serving both trade and upscale consumers. â€śIt sounds counter intuitiveâ€”who would launch an upscale magazine for specialty cheeses in this marketâ€”but for many people, who are not going out as often, they might increase their purchases of these types of items.â€ť
Phoenix is testing the magazine in several supermarket chains around the country. â€śAlmost all of them said they want to expand on the test issue,â€ť says Prevor. â€śAdvertisers, regardless of the economy, still have to sell products. As long as youâ€™re providing real solutions, people want to work with you.â€ť
Phoenix offers integrated media plans with print, online (which grew 25 percent last year) and live events.
Being a small publisher actually helps with launches in the current economic climate, Prevor says. â€śWhile we could save a few pennies here and there with the launch, and personnel might be available for a little less than they were a few years ago, I donâ€™t think the scale of investment changes dramatically,â€ť he adds. â€śItâ€™s more a matter of finding the right niche in good or bad times. We have the editors and salespeople here, so we really donâ€™t break out the costs of startups like that. Weâ€™re a bootstrapping company and weâ€™ve launched most of our products that way.â€ť
Similarly, Prevor says he isnâ€™t placing a new emphasis on savings. â€śThe worst thing you can do is announce that you have to save,â€ť he says. â€śWe have good operating practices. We donâ€™t want to waste money during good times any more than we do in bad times.â€ť
Where They Will Grow: Launching a new upscale magazine, offering integrated programs across media.
Where They Will Save: Leveraging new products across existing staff, rather than hiring new people.
Quote: â€śI think the worst thing you can do is announce that you have to save this or that. We try to have good operating practices and we donâ€™t want to waste money during the good times any more than the bad times.â€ť
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