A common theme among executives that Media Business has selected for its second annual Top Innovators in Business Publishing awards is that they describe themselves as listeners who pay attention to their customers and to the market. ¶ Geoffrey Dodge of BusinessWeek
because advertisers were asking for a means to reach small-business executives. ¶ When Edward Menicheschi joined Women's Wear Daily
, one of his first priorities was to call numerous executives in the fashion industry to get their thoughts on the magazine. ¶ Mike Wood of Hanley Wood launched his company's Web efforts after he went to a construction industry trade show and saw long lines at the booths of Internet startups. ¶ All three of these executives launched successful new efforts by paying attention to what the market wanted. ¶ Another common thread among this year's winners is that many of them were surprised to find themselves described as innovative. Peter Kann, for instance, chairman-CEO of Dow Jones & Co., said his company's insistence on charging for online content was hardly revolutionary. Dow Jones charged for the information when it appeared in the print Wall Street Journal
, he noted, so why would the Online Journal be any different? ¶ Media Business created the Top Innovators awards last year. Awards are given in six categories: top executive, publisher, editor, circulation, production and online. The categories are broken into three divisions: large trade, small trade (less than $125 million in annual revenue) and general business.