Move to digital picks up steam

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Digital editions continue to gain in popularity with b-to-b publishers. Brad Stauffer, senior VP-operations for 101communications, discusses the effects of the emerging technology on production executives.

MB: What do you talk about with other production executives when you see them?

Stauffer: Digital. It's been around for a few years. Everyone has been sitting and waiting, and in the last six months, everyone's saying, "Let's go. Let's do it now."

MB: So everyone is jumping on to the wagon of Zinio and its competitors?

Stauffer: That's all sorting itself out. Of course, the new Acrobat 7.0 also changes things.

MB: Why?

Stauffer: [Acrobat] 7.0 offers the ability to lock down a PDF file, something that only Zinio and its competitors did before. That means that you can send your PDF to a specific computer and not have it passed around, or you can track it. That was a reason to go over to Zinio and its competitors before but now publishers can have that capability in-house.

MB: All of this is certainly changing the role of the print production manager.

Stauffer: Traditional print production managers need to be ready to deal with anything techwise. I think it will eventually be two different positions. The digital end will probably be somewhere between a production and a circulation person because the whole techy aspect of gathering and retaining names is so different that a unique position will likely come out of it.

-Mark J. Miller

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