general manager | The Week
The Week, one of four magazines left in the ultra-competitive but ailing newsweekly category, has a few goals it wants to capitalize on during the recession. âWeâre still in growth mode,â says general manager Steven Kotok.
The first goal concerns subscriptions, which account for half of the 500,000-circulation magazineâs revenue. The Week increased its subscription revenue roughly 30 percent in 2008, and Kotok says there is room to grow at close to the same rate in 2009.
The magazineâs success with holiday gift subscriptions this year gives him hope. Through mid-January, The Week received 135,000 gift subscription requests, up from about 100,000 the year before. âWeâre not really sure why this happened,â says Kotok. âIt couldâve been the election, or the economyâwhen you have less money to spend on a gift, maybe a subscription is better.â
The nextÂ goal concerns advertising. While The Week was flat in ad pages, Kotok thinks it has an opportunity to position itself for growth when advertising budgets come back by relying on what he says is the magazineâs strength: ROI. âIn fat times, advertisers can get in a glamour mode,â says Kotok, who also points to independent research that ranks The Week #1 or #2 in engagement across the newsweekly category. âROI seems much more important now.â
Kotok says the opportunity to position the magazine is key in this recession. âIn the past weâve had to knock someone off a media plan in order to get in,â says Kotok. âNow we can be ready when they come back.â
One thing Kotok wonât do is cut The Weekâs ad rates, which is a challenge. âWeâve been hearing a lot about publishers cutting rates,â he says. âWe donât have to make quarterly numbers so we havenât been forced to.â But that also means walking away from ad dollars at a time when they are most scarce.
Which seems to be Kotokâs approach to the recession: Donât change too much. âYou do your business the way you always do,â he says. âWhen the market comes back, youâll be more mature.â
Where They Will Grow: Detroit, which grew 100 percent as an ad category for The Week in 2008, bucking industry trends.
Where They Will Save: No launches in 2010; the next global edition of The Week is in the planning stages and wonât hit until 2010.
Quote: âYou do your business the way you do your businessâwhen the market comes back, youâll be more mature.â
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