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Bob Sacks

Recent Commentary & Analysis from Bob Sacks

Displaying 1-24 of 66 articles

BoSacks Speaks Out: Why Print Magazines are Not Necessarily Facing Armageddon

Published March 17, 2015

I recently had a conversation with a University of Virginia media student about the future of journalism and falls on the heels of a webinar I did recently with journalism students at the Missouri School of Journalism. My advice to those students and to those entering our field is, and always has been, decidedly optimistic. Media and publishing is still a great career. It's not like it was, but perhaps, now it is something more, something bigger and very global.


BoSacks Speaks Out: On PRIMEX, and the Important Nuts and Bolts of the Magazine Industry

Published March 12, 2015

Yesterday I attended the annual Idealliance conference PRIMEX East in New York City. PRIMEX is a one-day conference that brings together media executives on key topics-of-interest that impact our business today.


BoSacks Speaks Out: Where's the hope for magazines?

Published October 6, 2014

An interesting professional sobriety hit the magazine business last week that was a long time in its maturation. The MPA moved us off the teat of accounting for print ad pages as our franchise enabler and instead offered a solution of cross-media oversight. Concurrent with this move was the decision to no longer make public the accumulated printed ad page stats. This move attempts to take the consistently depressing news about declining page counts off the front page and to make them available only to MPA members and their affiliates.


BoSacks Speaks Out: Magazine Revenue and the numbers.

Published June 5, 2014

The magazine industry only produces revenue by having a product worth selling. I am happy to report that the industry still produces tens of billions of dollars in revenue. But as an industry the count of sales of magazines has been declining in both newsstand copies sold and subscriptions bought.


The Future of Publishing From SXSW

Published April 18, 2014

In March Bo attended South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX to see if he could find connections between emerging digital technology and the ever-changing world of magazine media consumption.


BoSacks Speaks Out: A Review of PRIMEX NYC

Published October 21, 2013

In Esquire's October issue, I read a quote from Arthur Miller that reminded me of the publishing industry in general, and of my experience at PRIMEX last week. "Fear, like love, is difficult to explain after it has subsided, probably because it draws away the veils of illusion as it disappears."


The Publishing Revolution Revisited

Published February 26, 2013

BoSacks Speaks Out: I have a publishing epiphany to relate to you that comes from a man who died in 1799. But before I tell you of his wisdom, I will tell you a little personal history which explains how I retrieved this 18th century wisdom.


On Print Magazines, 21st Century Love & Bias Among Media Buyers

Published November 1, 2012

I am pretty sure that most of us have been unceremoniously dumped in our youth by a boyfriend or a girlfriend at one time or another. I am sure some of us also went back and begged for either forgiveness, a new understanding and/or a chance at a do-over. In adolescence these are normal and understandable actions.


Newsweek's Shutdown is Not A Sign Of Magazine Troubles

Published October 23, 2012

It seems to me that sometimes we publishers lose sight of our perspective. It is admittedly understandable as we hunker down in the trenches producing our products that we sometimes miss some of the details of the wider battle for revenue and survival.


Addressing the Death of Print Pundits at AMC-MPA

Published October 22, 2012

I am going to attempt to address a few of the pundits who declared the death of print at the AMC conference in San Francisco last Tuesday morning. In doing so, I am sure that my long term readers will appreciate the unusual irony I find myself participating in with regard to my analysis and review of the future of our business. I will try to be as succinct as possible and still place before you the necessary historic details.


'Is Print Dead?' and Other Tough Topics from the MPA Conference

Published October 18, 2012

For the record I just flew back from San Francisco on the red-eye to meet some east coast obligations, and haven't had the time or energy to compile my notes and observations from the American Magazine Conference just concluded. So what you are about to read is free flowing stream of semi-consciousness.


Why Angie's List Publishes a Print Magazine

Published October 17, 2012

I think that my friend Drew Davis has an expression in his lectures that captures the essence of Angie's List printed magazine quite well, he says "that the only thing that distinguishes you in a digital world is print"


BoSacks Speaks Out: On Newspapers, Publishing, Ads and an Unknown History

Published September 14, 2012

Over the years there has been an enormous amount of discussion about how the Internet "killed" the newspaper industry. I do not believe that it is a true statement - at least the murder did not take place as a cause and effect relationship.


BoSacks Speaks Out: Some magazines will die and some will soar

Published August 22, 2012


BoSacks Speaks Out: DMA To Fed: Don't Ask Me About My Business

Published August 15, 2012


Understanding Failure and managing expectations

Published August 14, 2012


The Problem with Magazines and The iPad

Published August 10, 2012

Yesterday I read an article by David Winograd that discusses from his point of view the Problem with Magazines and The iPad. The author has some serious observations about why the magazines on the iPad don’t work for him and no doubt for many others. The problems are mostly hardware/software related, and I am here to tell you that these problems will be completely solved in just a few short years.


BoSacks Speaks Out: The Final Bell Rings for Weekly Reader

Published July 26, 2012

Last night I read about the demise of My Weekly Reader and it started me thinking. Have you ever seen an event fly by and deep within your heart know that it was a great and missed opportunity? The death of My Weekly Reader seems to me to be such a missed opportunity.


On the MPA, Technology and Magazines

Published June 25, 2012

BoSacks Speaks Out: On the MPA, Technology and Magazines.


Print Magazines Unique Retail Opportunity

Published June 14, 2012

One of the best parts of what I do for a living is that I get to go a multitude of magazine/media trade shows to meet people and listen to lectures from absolutely every part of the magazine food chain. I go to writers associations, editors associations, production, distribution and circulation, digital workshops, libraries, regional magazine associations, and countless other types of publishing events.


The Totally Unnecessary Defense of Print

Published June 11, 2012

I think we can all agree that in the last decade or so, there have been absolute and fundamental shifts in communication patterns and processes. It was the great writer and journalist Mark Twain who once commented that the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. So, too, are the reports of the death of print.


BoSacks Speaks Out: SAPPI & SIPA

Published May 31, 2012

Last week was quite amazing for me, and it revolved around only four letters of our alphabet. Those letters are S, P, I. and A.


Green Groups and Publishing Sustainability

Published May 29, 2012

There is a debate that is going on in the publishing industry about sustainability that seems like it is mostly for the undereducated and terribly misinformed. If you really understand "green", which most of us don't, it is terribly wrong for the green wanna be's to insist that recycled paper be forced into all virgin pulp for a proper carbon footprint.


Why Plastic Logic failed - despite the e-book boom

Published May 21, 2012


The End of Communication As We Know It

Published October 25, 2011

In the last ten years or so our business has so fundamentally changed as to be almost unrecognizable to former participants and past industry giants. No one in our industry no matter what their title performs the function that their predecessors performed not ten years ago nor five years ago.


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