Print still plays a role, but Hanley Wood has committed to a future based on digital media, data services and events. As such, the company is "shifting resources" toward those ends and away from print.
The b-to-b publisher focused on the professional construction and design markets has laid off 19 employees from across various disciplines that will impact two of its top titles, Builder and Remodeling.
CEO Peter Goldstone confirmed the moves in comments to FOLIO:.
"[Hanley Wood] is making significant investments in digital and data solution platforms, increasing headcount across the board," he says, noting that the company has made 70 hires in the last 12 months. "The shift in resource deployment is from print to digital and data. Our digital and data businesses are up 20 to 30 percent [year-over-year]. We are fueling the growth businesses with additional resources."
Goldstone says frequency and size of the print products will remain unchanged despite the cuts. Print and digital editorial operations began merging in 2011.
"We are very committed to print as we still have over 20 print brands that are performing well against our core audience sectors," he says. "Our core asset is our construction audience database. Print is still 50 percent of our overall media expense and critical to feeding the database."
"Instead of wide and thin, which is the old magazine model," Goldstone continues, "we are expanding vertically and deep within our core audiences. This specialization requires new talent and new skills and new training."
Hanley Wood has emphasized digital- and data-first approaches with several of its smaller brands and in many of its senior-level hires—the company brought on dedicated presidents of content, digital and market intelligence—but hadn’t made major changes to its primary print products until now.
Two of the company’s three biggest magazines, Builder has a total qualified circulation of 111,716, while Remodeling has 102,035 qualified subscribers, according to the most recent BPA audits from the first half of 2013. The brands’ web properties attract 161,235 and 87,621 unique visitors each month, respectively, per their media kits.
Broadly, the titles’ sector has declined, but is slightly outperforming industry averages in ad pages and ad revenue, according to the latest BIN report from ABM. Building, engineering and construction magazines declined 5.9 percent in pages and 3.7 percent in revenue through the first quarter of 2013.
The layoffs are the latest in a series of changes Hanley Wood has undergone as it transforms its business model. The company has been sold twice since 2005 and drastically reduced its debt through restructuring early 2012. Goldstone, who had been president of Hanley Wood from 2009 to 2010, was named CEO last year.*
*Editor’s note: A prior version of this article incorrectly stated that Goldstone had served as Hanley Wood’s CEO from 2009 to 2010.