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Media CEOs address changing business models

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La Quinta, Calif.—CEOs of business media companies discussed challenges facing the industry and how they are adapting their business models during a roundtable discussion last week at American Business Media’s 2008 Spring Meeting.

“We can all agree that it is a turbulent and unsettled environment in which we’re operating,” said Neal Vitale, president-CEO of 1105 Media, who moderated the panel.

Vitale noted how 1105 Media has shifted to an integrated business model. When the company started out two years ago, it derived most of its revenue from print; now its business is roughly 40% print, 40% events and 20% online and paid information.

Other media executives agreed they are evolving their business models to adapt to a changing environment.

Tony Uphoff, CEO of TechWeb, which was previously CMP’s Business Technology Group, said the unit was about 85% print just a few years ago. Today, TechWeb is about 25% print, 30% online and 45% events, he said.

“We have completely and radically transformed our company, and put events and online at the center of the business and print around these businesses, which puts us where the dollars are going,” Uphoff said.

Charles McCurdy, chairman-CEO of Canon Communications, said that earlier this year Canon established an e-media division, hired someone to run it and is now staffing up in that area. The company is rolling out new digital products including e-newsletters, webinars and custom digital products, he said.

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