The Magazine Innovation Center: An Update

March 17, 2010

Jim Elliott president of James G. Elliott Co., Inc. recently interviewed me for his firm’s newsletter Ads & Ideas. He introduced the interview with the following:

President’s Letter
With magazine ad sales and circulation numbers taking a hit this year, the chatter on the streets these days is often about the future of magazines. There’s no doubt that the Internet has encroached on magazines’ ad dollars and readership numbers. Everyone knows that some major publications have closed their doors, but there’s no evidence that magazines, as a medium, will go away.
But that doesn’t mean we can be successful at doing what we’ve always done. In fact, maybe we need to ask ourselves, is the weakness in the marketplace a factor of magazines or advertising or the economy? The short answer is all three, and the long answer involves a look at the way magazines use technology, how magazines structure their revenue streams, and what magazines need to do to attract readers and advertisers in complex times.
I had the chance to talk to Dr. Samir Husni, known as “Mr. Magazine” for his long-term work at the University of Mississippi on the tracking of the magazine industry. Recently, he announced the start of his “Magazine Innovation Center,” a non-profit organization to study the future of magazines and print. Here’s what he had to say about magazine content, our industry, its digital competition, and what we, as an industry, should be doing to position magazine publishing as the exciting, powerful and important industry it is.

To read the Jim Elliott’s interview with me click here.


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