Banking on online, custom publishing

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Bruce Morris, president of Thomson Media's Banking and Corporate Group, has been in publishing and media for 29 years, the last 13 with Thomson. The cornerstone of Morris' group is the 167-year old daily newspaper American Banker, with a total of 25,000 print and online subscribers.

MB: What primary drivers helped grow your group's business last year?

Morris: As a percentage, online has been one of our fastest growth components: We [offer] single-sponsor Web seminars, which are great lead generators and branding platforms, and we have launched both sponsored and paid subscription electronic newsletters. Custom publishing-producing on-site daily newspapers for proprietary conferences-has also been highly successful for us. And we've created new products, spinning off print magazines and leveraging existing resources into market adjacencies. For example, Employee Benefit News spun off Employee Benefit Advisor, which has been profitable from the get-go.

MB: What's on tap for 2005?

Morris: We like to think of ourselves as media agnostic: We'll produce media platforms however customers want to see and receive them-print, live events, online-so we'll be further exploiting our growth drivers and looking at new options in the data arena. The only way we can continue to be successful is to deliver solutions customers find valuable, that will help them grow their business or enhance their career opportunities.

-Christine Bunish

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