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Higgins sees profitability down the line

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Name: Paul Higgins Title: President-CEO Company: Line56, Los Angeles Goal: "To hit profitability in near record time for an integrated media company."
Paul Higgins was plugging away as a consultant in the Australia office of Bain & Co., a strategic consulting firm, when he got the idea for Line56.

Higgins said he noticed a huge disconnect between what traditional C-level executives knew about e-commerce (very little) and how they expected the Internet to enhance their sales (very much).

After launching the monthly magazine last summer with a circulation of 125,000, Line56 is struggling to survive because of the weakness in advertising and the diminished appetite for so-called new economy titles—a category into which Line56 has been mistakenly lumped, Higgins said.

He said the magazine has distinguished itself by targeting senior-level b-to-b executives who are grappling with the Internet. Indeed, 67% of the magazine's readership consists of C-level executives.

Line56 recently raised $6 million in venture capital, and Higgins insists the publication will be profitable when it celebrates its first anniversary in a few months.

To help its position in the market, Higgins cut a content distribution deal with Microsoft Corp. and enhanced the publication's Web site through daily and weekly newsletters with audiences of 60,000 and 40,000, respectively.

Higgins said he has had discussions with "major" technology publishers about a possible sale of Line56, but he would not elaborate.

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