For Scott Crystal, the new president-CEO of Gruner + Jahr USA’s Business Innovator Group, marketing tech titles isn’t all that different an animal from selling the National Geographic Society, an organization for which he served as publishing director.
"As with National Geographic, this is a company with big resources but whose brands operate nimbly," said Crystal, referring to G + J owner, German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG.
Crystal oversees Fast Company and Inc., both of which G + J acquired in the past two years, and he plans to extend the brands to other media, including broadcast.
But first G + J has to ride out the publishing recession, which has whipsawed technology titles. Ad pages for Fast Company fell 50% through August, compared with the same period in 2000, while ad pages for Inc. were down 45%.
Starting in January, G + J is boosting the circulation of Fast Company to 725,000 from 680,000, and Inc. to 665,000 from 650,000.
Crystal took the helm of G + J’s business media unit in August following a short run at Ziff Davis Media Inc., where he was in charge of the Consumer Media Group. During his National Geographic tenure he oversaw the expansion of National Geographic Traveler and launched National Geographic Adventure in 1999.