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Small publisher deals with change

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FMA Communications is too small to have a VP of production, but it does have two employees who sit on American Business Media's production/manufacturing committee: a graphic designer, Margaret Clark, and Dan Davis, executive editor, who shared his insights.

MB: What's new in production at FMA?

Davis: We've started doing our own color proofing in-house and will move to a PDF work flow by the beginning of 2007. We have a pretty old-school market segment, metal fabrication, so a lot of these people are still very concerned about color transfer and that sort of thing. So we've been slow to eliminate color proofs. But in time, that will have to happen. It's just the way the industry is going.

MB: Any concerns about production in general?

Davis: It's more about print in general as more and more people find other ways to spend their marketing dollar. The concern is that the production department needs to be a lot more flexible than it is now and able to take on the Internet and technology that we haven't even imagined yet.

MB: Your main title, The Fabricator, is a tabloid, which can't be co-mailed at this point. Are you going to resize in order to take advantage of the savings?

Davis: The magazine's been around for 35 years and from day one it's been an open debate of whether the size works or not. Some subscribers think it's cumbersome, particularly to take on a plane, and it won't fold over the way they want it, but other subscribers love it. It's kind of what the magazine is for now. It's the trademark.

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