Innovators: publisher

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Norm Kamikow, president-editor in chief of MediaTec Publishing, which publishes Chief Learning Officer and other magazines, has a wealth of experience in magazines ranging from Seventeen and Omni to Spin and Internet World.

He and the MediaTec team, which is also led by John Taggart, exec VP-group publisher, have applied several of these lessons over the past few years.

A key lesson from Kamikow's stint at Internet World was the wisdom of targeting a high-value audience. Alan Meckler, the founder of Mecklermedia, which created Internet World, has said in the past that the magazine was never profitable because the circulation was too broad.

With MediaTec's 2002 launch of CLO, Kamikow aimed high on the corporate ladder and committed to a small circulation. Launched in a severe b-to-b media recession, the magazine was an almost immediate success, winning recognition by the American Society of Business Publication Editors as the best new publication.

Kamikow said a key reason the magazine has thrived is that MediaTec created a system that places a premium on listening to readers. He remembered that the CLO editorial board, after being shown a prototype of the magazine, asked for more case studies. Today, CLO is filled with case studies, and the company offers a host of events, webcasts and other opportunities for chief learning officers to learn from each other.

Kamikow summed up the MediaTec approach this way: "We don't try to force feed [our audience] information that is not core to their business; and we don't try to force a secondary audience into the publication for the sake of building circulation."

-S. C.

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