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Bill Mickey

Are You a Technology Company or a Media Company?

Bill Mickey B2B - 10/29/2013-13:30 PM

 

The relationship between magazine publisher and technology is becoming ever more complex. For some, technology is so central it's easy to begin to think that it's what defines you. The issue calls up the classic argument: What's more important, content or technology/delivery?

At this week's MediaNext conference in New York one session attempted to tackle that question, though the two presenters came at it from different perspectives.

Blair Johnson, senior vice president, business development, at Cygnus Business Media, noted that the technology that social networks, and advertisers themselves, were creating were beginning to disintermediate the company. "The disruptions were allowing the brands to go directly to the consumer," he said. "If we can't get [technology] right for ourselves, how are we going to get it right for our advertisers?"

For Cygnus, which subsequently built a proprietary CMS, created an integrated database and began aggressively using responsive design, the idea was technology would not only enable new business, it would keep advertisers from going off the reservation. In addition to its capabilities, it became a calling card.

"If all we are is a company that talks to an audience, then we're at risk," he said. "We need to be a partner that has technology on the bleeding edge that can best help our marketing partners."

That sentiment was echoed later during the lunch keynote from Glam Media founder Samir Arora, by the way, who made no bones about describing Glam as a technology company.

But Johnson's co-presenter put the focus back on content. "Unless you're literally licensing software, please don't call yourself a technology company," said John Siefert, CEO of Virgo Publishing. "If you're a media company, that's not what you do. You're creating content and then people are advertising around that content. For us, the software that runs our business is critical, we would not exist without it. But what we are is a media company that creates content."

Siefert warned that industry trends can be prematurely exaggerated into mission-critical strategies. "People become so focused on the sex appeal of the technology that they don't focus on the content and how it works inside that technology."

He pointed to marketing automation technology as one area where many publishers are potentially devaluing their audience. "We've gotten to the point where we're way too reliant on automating the process of lead-gen, instead of listening to the audience and engaging. We've over-teched it. We want to be thought drivers for our audience instead of just looking at them as leads."

The way out of that trap, suggests Siefert, is to put process before technology. "A lot of times technology defines the process," he said. "What we try to do is define the process and find our build technology to support it." 

 

 

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Bill Mickey

The FOLIO: 100 Goes Live

Bill Mickey Consumer - 10/10/2013-13:59 PM

 

It took a little longer, but I'm sure you'll find it worth the wait—the FOLIO: 100 is now online, and will be hitting your desk in print in the October issue.

The list of magazine media's most innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers—and some of the biggest trends that inspire and influence them—has been greatly expanded from its roots as the FOLIO: 40, which used to appear in the April issue.

Like it does every year, the list recognizes executives, managers and even junior staffers who have had a major impact on their company or the industry at large. Now there's just more of them.

The reason behind the expansion of the list sits squarely among the trends that are impacting magazine media. The very definition of a magazine publisher has changed so much—from the products it creates to the way it builds its audience—that a list of 40 innovators seemed positively quaint.

The industry itself has also expanded to include digital, mobile and social entities that intersect magazines in crucial ways. To not recognize individuals from those sectors, and many others, would be a glaring omission.

Some of the list-makers will probably seem obvious, but many more are folks you've likely never heard of, making the FOLIO: 100 a true reflection of our wide-ranging coverage of magazine media in every corner of the market.

The FOLIO: 100 Awards Ceremony

This year, too, marks the debut of a special awards ceremony we'll be holding in conjunction with FOLIO:'s MediaNext event. It's a chance for us to salute the FOLIO: 100 list-makers in person—a prospect we're very excited about. For more on the awards breakfast, visit the MediaNext site.

 

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Bill Mickey

PopSci Turns Off Article Commenting

Bill Mickey Consumer - 09/24/2013-14:25 PM

 

Widely touted as a major engagement booster, article commenting features have nevertheless remained a prickly issue for many publishers, and it boils down to this: Are the trolls and spam worth the effort? Bonnier's Popular Science doesn't think so.

Suzanne LaBarre, PopSci's online content director, announced this morning that the site has decided to turn off its article commenting feature. How this went over with the site's visitors is unknown because, well, there are no comments.

But according to LaBarre, the issue goes way beyond the typical annoyances of managing inappropriate or spammed comments—science itself is at risk.

Civility, or the lack of it, is one thing. Redirecting an article's conclusion is a whole new ballgame.

Citing a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison that found uncivil comments not only had a polarizing effect on readers, they also changed interpretation, LaBarre pulled the plug to protect the science community at large.

"If you carry out those results to their logical end—commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded—you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the 'off' switch," she says.

The phrase "it's a scientific fact" doesn't seem to carry the weight it used to. "Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to 'debate' on television," she continues.

LaBarre says the often politically motivated nature of the rogue commenting chips away at an article's conclusion, hijacking the conversation into an anti-science framework and creating debates out of thin air. 

"And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science," she says.

Nevertheless, LaBarre says readers will still be able to interact with each other and the brand, just not in such close proximity to the stories. The brand's social platforms will be the new conversation hubs and there will still be the occasional story that has the commenting feature turned back on.

 

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Bill Mickey

Folio:'s 15 Under 30 Nominations Are Open

Bill Mickey Consumer - 08/22/2013-14:35 PM

 

 


 

While the evolution of the magazine media business often rests on the shoulders of experienced executives, the younger generation is a constant source of innovation and change.

Here at FOLIO:, we're always on the lookout for new ideas that change the way magazine publishers do business and in that spirit it's time once again to turn the spotlight on the younger set with our 15 Under 30 list. 

With this annual recognition franchise, we profile selected rising stars and innovators across traditional publishing roles, never-before-seen positions in new lines of business, and market-shaping start-ups.

Last year's list featured a cross-section of talent responsible for ad ops, editing, technology and design.

Tell us who you think deserves to be on the list by filling out our simple online form. Our list-makers will appear in the October issue.

The only catch? All nominees must be younger than 30.

The deadline for nominations is August 30. Good luck and thanks for participating!

Nominate!

 

 

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Bill Mickey

Rolling Stone's Latest Cover: Terrorist Vs. Rockstar

Bill Mickey Consumer - 07/18/2013-16:18 PM

 

One of the more striking elements of Rolling Stone's latest cover story image is how Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looks like the kid next door. In a sense it has achieved a goal magazine publishers either embrace or run away from, attracting loud and impassioned criticism which leads to an enormous amount of coverage in mainstream and social media.

Some of the discussion focuses on giving an accused murderer the celebrity treatment—an aspect that's not to be downplayed. Rolling Stone does have a dual cover story approach that alternates between its celebrity coverage and more serious investigative pieces, but it appears many only remember its celeb covers. At least that's what CVS, Walgreens and other retailers have decided when they banned the issue from their newsstands. The rest of the debate reminds us that the cover is an alarming, journalistic, but honest, depiction of a face of terrorism we're not used to seeing. A microcosm of this conversation is happening now at FOLIO:'s Facebook page.

Here's Rolling Stone's statement in reply to all the coverage:

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens. –THE EDITORS

In the meantime, here's a range of outlets that have weighed in on the cover:

Boston.com
The Boston Marathon bomber is a rock star, says 'Rolling Stone'

The New Yorker
The Inconvenient Image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Christian Science Monitor
Rolling Stone cover: Are stores going too far in pulling the magazine?

USA Today
Don't stone 'Rolling Stone' over Boston bomber cover

Slate
Rolling Stone’s Boston Bomber Cover Is Brilliant

Huffington Post
Rolling Stone Boston Bomber Cover Story: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Image Stirs Controversy, Boycotts

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Bill Mickey

ABM Merger with SIIA Officially Approved 83-3

Bill Mickey B2B - 04/29/2013-10:03 AM

 

At ABM's 2013 Annual Conference here in Amelia Island, FL today, membership cast their vote as the final step to approve the merger between ABM and SIIA. The vote came in at 83 for, 3 against, but not without a bit of drama.

During the vote count, Lebhar-Friedman's Roger Friedman stood to pay a heartfelt tribute to the ABM of the past, recognizing his own mentors and previous leaders of the b-to-b media association.

While acknowledging both the inevitability of the member vote in favor of the merger as well as the momentum of change in the b-to-b media industry, Friedman called this year's annual conference "bittersweet" as he took the opportunity to officially cast his vote against the merger.

"I know the merger is going to pass," he said, "but because of my conscience I am casting a negative vote. It's just my way to express my feeling over the whole process."

The objection came across as more of sentimental one, rather than a practical one—with Friedman taking the opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of some of the "old guard" b-to-b leaders who put so much effort into the organization and how it, in turn, educated its membership over its more than 100 years in existence.

His speech, which he admitted to writing at 3 am that morning, drew a standing ovation.

It also succinctly drew attention to the reason for the merger in the first—that the b-to-b media industry has changed so quickly that it's almost unrecognizable from what it was only a decade ago.

 

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Bill Mickey

How Cool Is Boston Magazine's May Issue Cover?

Bill Mickey Design and Production - 04/25/2013-15:43 PM

 

 

This is the cover for the May issue of Boston magazine. The story behind its creation is equally as awesome (the May issue was just days away from shipping when the bombs went off on that Monday; tweets and Facebook posts were employed to collect the actual shoes from runners.). Editor-in-chief John Wolfson provides the details here.

 

 

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Bill Mickey

Adding Video to Your Sales Pitch

Bill Mickey Sales and Marketing - 02/12/2013-14:09 PM

 

Bonnier's Popular Science is taking the venerable sell sheet one step further by including a video of the magazine's editor-in-chief Jacob Ward describing the upcoming issue's content highlights, marrying that with the magazine's pertinent demos. The sales team uses the video as an email enticement or brings it on a live sales call to add a dash of editorial celebrity when Ward himself can't come along.

The idea came to Michael Gallic, associate publisher, marketing, the technology group, as Ward was taping his customary video introduction for the magazine's tablet version. Why not just ask Ward to hang around for another five or ten minutes to create a 90-second highlight reel of the upcoming issue? The first video sell sheet was created at the end of last year for the January/February issue.

"We're always looking for new ways to help the reps to get to the advertisers," says Gallic. "The standard way is the issue sell sheet—a PDF which gives an overview and relevant statistics, but in the video you're hearing about the content live from the editor and you can see the stats pop up. He's an engaging, personable guy who brings the editorial to life. Who better to hear what the issue is about than the editor himself?"

While they may not actually win the sale, anecdotally Gallic says the videos have been useful hooks to get the brand noticed. "The face-to-face calls are more difficult to get, but these video sell sheets are not only helping getting the call but getting the call back."

The team uses Adobe's After Effects to edit the videos, and Gallic adds that, with a slightly different content spin, they're morphing into a useful consumer marketing tool as well—particularly as a newsstand driver. "We'll run them on the website to drive people to newsstand. They're taking on a life of their own," he says.

Here's a video of Ward highlighting the upcoming May issue:

 

 

 

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Bill Mickey

The FOLIO: 100: A Call for Nominees

Bill Mickey Consumer - 02/07/2013-14:13 PM

 

 

The nomination period for the FOLIO: 100 is now officially open!

Yes, you read that right—we're expanding the magazine industry's best-known and most prestigious list of innovators, entrepreneurial thinkers and disrupters from 40 to 100. The more the merrier.

Starting now you can help shape the list by nominating a colleague—either at your company or at another one—that has made a meaningful, quantifiable impact on a specific product, group, company or even the market at large.

"Quantifiable impact" is the key phrase—this isn't a popularity contest, anyone from inside the org chart can make this list, just be ready to back up your nomination with some solid supporting info, which you can do here.

Remember, not every FOLIO: 100 list-maker is a top executive—innovation and constructive change often comes from the front lines and the trenches, let's be sure those folks get their due, too—from editors to publishers to sales, audience development, design, production and digital. All across consumer, b-to-b, regional, enthusiast and association publishing—big and small.

And now with the expanded list, we can include an even more diverse range of deserving go-getters.

Click here to fill out our easy nomination form. Nominations are due by March 4.

Here's last year's FOLIO: 40 to get you inspired.

We'll announce the 2013 FOLIO: 100 in April. Submit your nominations now and good luck!

 

 

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Bill Mickey

Moving from 'Magazines' to 'Media'

Bill Mickey Consumer - 01/29/2013-16:18 PM

 

Any company that's grown up targeting the magazine business the past few decades has no doubt had to come to terms with the new media landscape, particularly if its name is directly tied to print media.

Heck, we're mulling through this now with FOLIO:, which is still "The Magazine for Magazine Management."

The main associations that serve the industry have already rebranded, as did ABC recently.

MagazineRadar, a data service that has helped magazine publishers know more about brands and the people that buy them, got caught in the same dilemma. It's just rebranded itself as MediaRadar. Not a particularly big stretch, but it's definitely symbolic of the changes happening all around us.

As an example, the company has been tracking just over one million brands that are buying online ads and in the process of doing so has uncovered some interesting patterns in how those digital buys overlap, or don't overlap, print.

"The number-one discovery was the size of the online ad market is much larger than we understood," says co-founder Todd Krizelman. "If we just look on the consumer side of MPA titles, out of the people who buy MPA magazines, only a third of those are showing up on [the brand's] website. We're 20 years into the web and only one-third are buying on the same set of websites."

Surprisingly, there appears to be very little overlap, or integrated sales, going on.

In the third quarter of 2012, for example, MediaRadar found that about 9,000 brands advertised in the MPA-member consumer magazines it tracks. There were 12,000 brands that advertised on those titles' websites. But only 3,000 were integrated buys—leaving about 9,000 advertisers that were only buying digital with those brands.

There are some brands that have done particularly well through integrated buys, but that discrepancy is one reason digital-only publishers have done as well as they have, says Krizelman. "One of the reasons they've been successful is not that they've stolen clients, but exploited the knowledge that there's thousands of advertisers that buy only online."

 


 

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Bill Mickey

Congress Leaves USPS Hanging

Bill Mickey Audience Development - 01/03/2013-16:09 PM

 

Add the USPS to the list of unfinished business left by the now-adjourned 112th Congress. As it muddled its way through negotiating terms for avoiding the fiscal cliff, the legislation the Postal Service was looking for fell by the wayside, prompting Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to voice his disappointment in an official statement.

Even with hearings, lobbying from ABM and MPA and a raft of restructuring initiatives done over the last two years, the USPS is still in major crisis mode. And any major operational or pricing changes going forward could have a significant impact on publishers. 

Ranks have been reduced by 60,000 carriers  and 70 facilities have been consolidated, but the USPS is still losing massive amounts of money, to the tune of $25 million per day. And it's already defaulted on its $11.1 billion Treasury payments and has no money left to borrow. "As we look to the coming year, we are on an unsustainable financial path," warns Donahoe. "We will be discussing with our Board of Governors a range of accelerated cost-cutting and revenue generating measures designed to provide us some financial breathing room."

For the full statement, click here.

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Bill Mickey

Hearst Digital Subscriptions Now Generating Profits

Bill Mickey Consumer - 01/02/2013-10:42 AM

 

In what's become an annual tradition from Hearst Magazines president David Carey, a post-holiday letter to employees highlights some of the company's successes in the last year and points to new initiatives for 2013.

While there were definitely highlights for the company, Carey noted the days of consistent performance across brands are over. This is a nod to a recognition that while the external media landscape continues to fracture, so goes the internal performance of brands—strategies that used to work consistently across the platform are now maddeningly hard to predict from one brand to another.

"While in the past our businesses tended to move in unison—collectively, up or off—I believe that the variability and volatility of performance is here to stay, which puts a greater emphasis on the impressive can-do spirit and creativity of our teams," says Carey in the letter.

Nevertheless, Carey is continuing his push for entrepreneurial thinking within the company, noting international, digital and commerce-oriented growth initiatives. By the end of the year, for example, Cosmopolitan's partnership with jcpenney was producing $1 million in weekly sales.

Also notable is Carey's claim that Hearst Magazines now has the highest number of paid monthly digital subscriptions across tablet devices in the industry—at nearly 800,000. The subscriptions are generating profits and 80 percent of the subscribers are new to the file.

Here's the letter in full:

Dear Colleagues,
 
Happy 2013! Welcome back after what I hope was a wonderful holiday break for each of you. If you were minding business at the office last week, I trust you also found it a peaceful place to be.
 
As we begin a new year, I want to take stock of our company’s accomplishments in the last year and look forward to what’s on tap for the coming one.
 
We have been thrilled by consumer response to the new print products we introduced, led most notably in the U.S. by HGTV Magazine and, globally, by 10 new Hearst international editions, including Esquire in Singapore and Colombia and Harper’s BAZAAR in Poland. We’re also enthused by the pace at which our content is ricocheting around an increasingly mobile world. At the end of 2011, we had 39 million monthly page views on mobile devices; by the end of 2012 that number had grown to 186 million.
 
But no question, 2012 will not be remembered as mellow in either media or meteorology.
 
Many of our businesses soared and produced record results. Others faced challenges, and the teams behind these brands have put in place fresh thinking for 2013. While in the past our businesses tended to move in unison—collectively, up or off—I believe that the variability and volatility of performance is here to stay, which puts a greater emphasis on the impressive can-do spirit and creativity of our teams.
 
Whether you were doing business in sunshine or in storm, so many of you pushed ahead—continuing the enormously imaginative work of expanding our company’s reach and influence. I want to thank all the teams that make Hearst Magazines great.
 
The barometer of our 2012 performance marked important developments. Our core print brands were honored with a raft of prestigious awards: three National Magazine Awards, total domination of Advertising Age’s A-List, including Magazine of the Year Marie Claire and Publisher of the Year Nancy Berger Cardone, numerous Folio: Eddie and Ozzie Awards, and an Adweek Hot List nod for HGTV Magazine.
 
More of our greatest brand hits last year:
 
• ELLE had very strong growth in its first full year of Hearst ownership, gaining market share and becoming our second-largest business in the U.S.
 
• HGTV Magazine, created in partnership with Scripps Networks, ended its first year with nearly 700,000 paid subscribers, producing average monthly newsstand sales of more than 250,000 and strong reception from advertisers. This year, the title will move to 10 issues annually.
 
• Harper’s BAZAAR had a perfectly executed redesign that has been a hit with readers and advertisers, and Good Housekeeping introduced a new look and feel in its January issue, a front-to-back revamp driven by extensive consumer research and testing. Now under way: a dramatic restyling of Road & Track and a new direction for Redbook.
 
• Marie Claire’s powerhouse publishing team delivered the most revenue ever in the magazine’s 18-year U.S. history.
 
• Already the No. 1 epicurean magazine on the newsstand, Food Network Magazine had a sales jump of 18 percent last year and earned the top spot for ad pages in its category. Projected FNM circulation for 2013: 1.55 million.
 
In keeping with our UNBOUND positioning, we made impressive gains in digital media. By the end of the year, we counted nearly 800,000 monthly digital subscriptions in the U.S. across iPads, NOOKs, Kindle Fires and Android devices—the highest in the industry. Those subscriptions are now generating profits after 24 months of investment. And how exciting to see how this business is developing organically: More than 80 percent of our digital subscribers are new to our files, and their engagement levels meet or exceed the high levels we see from our print products.
 
We achieved important digital milestones all across the company:
 
• The number of unique monthly visitors to our websites grew by more than 30 percent. Our brands have driven an explosion in social engagement with their audiences; Hearst has 7.7 million Facebook fans, 4.7 million Twitter followers and 5.5 million Pinterest followers, including the No. 1 brand on Pinterest, Harper’s BAZAAR.
 
• Cosmopolitan doubled the size of its digital edit team in December, with the goal of reaching 20 million monthly unique visitors. The magazine also used a multi-pronged social media strategy engineered by iCrossing to welcome new editor in chief Joanna Coles: 18 million tweets announcing Joanna’s move were sent in just a few hours. (The brand is also active on the TV front: Watch for Cosmo as a star of a new Mark Burnett series debuting in February.)
 
• Jumpstart, a key asset from our Lagadère acquisition, had the most profitable year in its history. Jumpstart grew to become the No. 3 website for auto shoppers, with more than 9.5 million monthly unique visitors.
 
• Innovation flows in all directions in our halls: Hearst’s popular foodie destination Delish.com introduced a print special that was sold with the November editions of six titles at Wal-Mart, producing a 22 percent lift in single-copy sales.
 
We welcomed new faces last year and, in some cases, rearranged places. Chief Technology Officer Phil Wiser, who joined Hearst Corporation last January, quickly became a key resource for our technology teams. In addition to Joanna at Cosmo, we named three new editors in chief: Susan Spencer at Woman’s Day, Larry Webster at Road & Track and Anne Fulenwider at Marie Claire. We were also pleased to welcome Carine Roitfeld as global fashion director of BAZAAR, who, in an industry first, will create fashion editorial that will run in all 26 international editions of the magazine at the same time. This high-profile creative initiative with Carine is among my favorite rule-breakers of 2012 and paves the way for more global content sharing.
 
Benchmarking industry leadership took a number of creative forms at Hearst in 2012:
 
•  We created the Hearst Design Group by consolidating the editorial staffs of ELLE DECOR, House Beautiful and Veranda under Newell Turner’s leadership, bringing a streamlined, nimble, European publishing model to the U.S.
 
• Again, in the spirit of not holding onto established orthodoxies, we changed the business models of some titles, including Woman’s Day and Veranda, shifts that have dramatically improved bottom-line performance.
 
• You will see more brand extensions this year based on last year’s success; Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Delish and ELLE Accessories will all increase their frequency in 2013.
 
• From its genesis as a column in Good Housekeeping, 7 Years Younger is now a book and a website with extensive social media presence—and the launch has been a collaborative effort across our company.
 
Always looking for new ways to connect with our readers, Hearst developed fresh, effective commerce initiatives last year, including ShopBAZAAR.com and the House Beautiful Marketplace, a partnership with HSN.
 
After a year of close collaboration, the Cosmopolitan Collection debuted in September in 700 jcpenney stores nationwide. At year’s end, consumer sales were running more than $1 million per week. (Operating as entrepreneurs entails taking chances: Our 2011 partnerships CLAD and Gifting Grace were discontinued. There will be some swings and some misses—we learn and move forward.)
 
As you know, Hearst is the largest publisher of monthly magazines around the world, with 284 of our 304 editions outside the U.S. I’m pleased to report that in 2012 our international business grew by more than 50 percent. European shortfalls resulting from the ongoing turbulence in the economy were offset by the strength of earnings from our businesses in Russia and Asia—China, in particular, where ELLE has seen so much success that it moved to a semi-monthly publishing schedule.
 
Our other lines of business also made bold inroads in new areas. Hearst Integrated Media had its biggest year ever in 2012, selling more than 30 custom programs.
 
We welcomed new leaders, in the U.S., the U.K. and Latin America, to boost iCrossing’s digital marketing leadership. In 2012, iCrossing won two out of every three pitches and signed 30 new accounts—with its average deal size now 250 percent larger than two years ago. iCrossing’s fourth quarter revenues were the highest in its history.
 
CDS Global celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012 and successfully focused on transforming its technology to offer new digital and e-commerce services and diversify its business across industries. CDS Global is a key part of the magazine industry’s tablet media infrastructure and at the same time is building business beyond media—it ended 2012 with nearly 20 percent of its revenue from non-magazine clients.
 
One thing that’s distinctive about Hearst is how important partnerships are to driving our growth, a key strategy established long ago by our CEO, Frank A. Bennack, Jr. We’re fortunate to operate joint ventures with many of the world’s leading corporations. (These ventures not only generate earnings, but also bring great talent—our just-named Hearst president, Steve Swartz, originally came to the company via a joint venture with Dow Jones). Because of our reputation of being such a good partner, we regularly receive inbound concepts from media companies looking to jointly create new products with Hearst. (So don’t be surprised if we test yet another new magazine by year’s end!)
 
Finally, a sad note and a heartfelt tribute: Helen Gurley Brown, the Hearst magazine editor who first made Cosmopolitan famous and single women proud to be smart and sexy, died on August 13 at the age of 90. She led Cosmo for more than three decades, leaving an indelible, personal imprint on several generations of women—and their men. Helen’s re-creation of Cosmopolitan produced profits that were quickly reinvested into a diversified set of businesses that helped build the modern Hearst Corporation.
 
Which brings me to 2013: Every member of the team has the chance to make a Helen Gurley Brown–level contribution, one that can have a long-lasting, positive impact on our company and colleagues.
 
Many are hard at work on achieving exactly that.
 
Esquire Editor in Chief David Granger and Publishing Director Jack Essig will soon announce a bold new partnership—an initiative that will dramatically expand the Esquire franchise. The brand also has big plans in the works to celebrate its 80th anniversary this year.
 
Our consumer marketing colleagues are collectively rethinking how we bring our titles to market by striking new partnerships with retailers—as they cast aside the “same old way” of doing business—and building world-class digital marketing capabilities.
 
The company’s digital leadership team is working on plans to “future-proof” our digital business models for a world where more than 50 percent of our traffic will be on small screens, and our readers will demand fresh, high-quality content from our brands around the clock.
 
The team at Hearst Magazines International is readying another dozen launches in 2013, from France to Australia.
 
And there’s so much more.
 
I’m also pleased to announce that in 2013 we will put greater emphasis on the training and development of our team. In the last few weeks we’ve had the good fortune to welcome to Hearst Tower inspirational executives like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and HSN CEO Mindy Grossman to talk about how they are managing change at their companies. In 2013, we will significantly step up these programs and our exposure to some of the business world’s smartest minds. We will also invest more in digital training of all kinds.
 
Regardless of the headlines, change in GDP or cyclical trends, our teams are pushing ahead to create a successful 2013. This is the spirit that has put Hearst at the forefront of the industry.
 
Like you, I get a lot of e-mail newsletters. A few months ago, one contained an especially insightful passage that succinctly sums up the opportunities for our company and industry:
 
If one thing is clear, it’s that over the next 20 years the shortest distance from A to B is going to be anything but a straight line. To survive, much less to thrive, will require being both clever and smart. Clever means a willingness to try new things—be scrappy and make bold bets, even if they may not pay off. Smart means keeping your eyes on the year-2032 prize—be ready to cut off the experiments that aren’t working and cultivate your willingness to let go of the legacy as the time comes.
 
I am so proud of all the talented and smart men and women at Hearst who work to empower, educate and encourage our readers, advertisers and partners. In picas and pixels, you are simply the best, through all kinds of weather. And I know you are not alone—supported by family and friends who encourage you to do your best work and reach for the stars.
 
Thank you, again. I wish you a new year filled with personal and professional success and happiness.
 
Sincerely,
 
David Carey
President
Hearst Magazines
@CareyAtHearst

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