Driving smart with a single sales force

Throw out the rear-view mirror

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Since the digital revolution is relentlessly erasing and redrawing the media highway, there is no going back to old business models, and so there is less and less need to look back. At the Cable Show last month in New Orleans, Peter Chernin, president of News Corp., warned that because of endless audience fragmentation, “To the degree that we try to protect existing businesses, we are toast. If we do, we are only staving off the inevitable.” At Crain's Chicago Business, we did not deploy one sales force to try and artificially protect our print market share. But I can see a time soon when we'll need to consider changing this successful, decade-long strategy. When our vertical Web portfolio becomes too unwieldy or too diverse, we may have to create a new group of dedicated sales teams. David Blake is publisher of Crain's Chicago Business and the current president of the Alliance of Area Business Publications. He can be reached at
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