Top Trades: Builder

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`Builder' constructs strong portfolio

Since 1991, when Hanley Wood acquired it, Builder has built a strong position in the residential construction market.

"Builder is probably the premiere publication reaching the homebuilding industry," said Alan Thielemann, VP-marketing at Georgia-Pacific Corp. "There are a number of publications out there, but Hanley Wood has definitely focused in on understanding the homebuilder's interests and needs."

Hanley Wood CEO Michael Wood offers three reasons for the magazine's continued success. First, Builder serves a healthy market that stayed supercharged throughout the recession that struck most of the b-to-b media industry starting in 2000. "The population of the United States is 290 million, which grows about 1% a year. That's 3 million people who need to live and work somewhere. So, driven by that population growth, the housing industry is very strong," Wood said.

Second, the magazine has a strong reputation in the market. "It's better circulation, it's more complete editorial, it's better page design and art production, and all of those things that go into a great magazine," Wood said.

Wood said Builder also derives strength from the Hanley Wood Network that surrounds it. "We now have 20 b-to-b magazines that all serve different parts of the housing and construction industry, and all are No. 1 in their niches," he said. "So when we sit down with an advertiser, we can talk to them about the parts of the market they're interested in."

In addition to the publications, Hanley Wood, under the ownership of a Veronis Suhler Stevenson private equity fund, has built itself into a multimedia company, offering trade shows, an Internet presence, marketing and market research. "They do more than just sell a page of advertising," Thielemann said.

VSS is currently seeking a buyer for Hanley Wood (see story, p. 18).

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