Three Qs and As with Condé Nast Portfolio’s David CareyApril 27, 2009
While the prophets of doom and gloom are celebrating the death of Condé Nast Portfolio magazine, I opted to ask David Carey, group president and founding publisher of the magazine, three questions about the entire status of the magazine industry and the American publishing model.
SH: Is the closure of Portfolio another evidence that the American publishing model is dead and that a need for a new model is more than needed today?
DC: THE BUSINESS CYCLE IS ALIVE AND WELL — AND WITH IT, ECONOMIES EXPAND AND CONTRACT. WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A SHARP CONTRACTION PHASE. THE MODELS FOR FEW INDUSTRIES ARE WORKING WELL TODAY — BUT THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS IN A RECESSION, IT FORCES EVOLUTION.
SH: Is it the economy, the internet or both that are hurting print
today? Were we after counting customers rather than finding and
charging the customers who count?
DC: FOR MAGAZINES, WHILE THERE IS PRESSURE FROM DIGITAL SUBSTITUTION, THE CORE ISSUE IS CYCLICAL, AS THE TYPE OF ADVERTISERS WHO SPEND THE MOST IN PRINT ARE FACING ENORMOUS PRESSURE ON THEIR BUSINESSES.
SH: Does David Carey still see the cup half full or he is now seeing
the empty side?
DC: THERE ARE ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES, IN EVERY MARKET. DURING A TOUGH CYCLICAL RECESSION, THEY ARE HARDER TO FIND, BUT THE SMART, NIMBLE ENTREPRENEURS WILL FIND POCKETS OF OPPORTUNITY EVEN TODAY — OF THAT I’M VERY CONFIDENT.