Richard Marino, who took over as CEO of Standard Media International in late March, has lived through technology downturns before.
When he was an executive with ABC/Cap Cities Publishing in the mid-1980s, the bottom dropped out of the personal computer market. "The similarities are pretty scary to previous downturns," Marino said, referring to the dot-com crash that has hammered the company’s flagship, The Industry Standard.
First-quarter ad pages at the weekly title were down 72% compared with the same period last year, while ad revenues were off 58%, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Marino would not comment on whether any more job cuts were planned for Standard Media following three separate rounds of layoffs this year that resulted in the loss of more than 100 staffers.
"We’re building and changing the company, focusing on core competencies and setting our sights on the future," Marino said, adding that publisher International Data Group is committed to the 3-year-old magazine.
On the marketing front, The Standard has established partnerships with The New York Times and Yahoo!, both of which will carry its content online, and it recently expanded its print relationship with Newsweek, which will publish content from The Standard. Standard Media also hopes to build upon its conferencing division, spearheaded by this summer’s annual "Internet Summit."
Marino joined Standard Media from CNET Networks Inc., where he served as president-COO. This marks the return to IDG for Marino, who before jumping to CNET spent nine years at IDG’s PC World.