M&A Advisor AdMedia Partners Sponsors Breakfast with New Chairman of Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), John Griffin

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Executive VP of National Geographic Society and its Magazine Group's President outlines his thoughts on the industry and what magazines need to do to prosper

AdMedia Partners, a leading M&A advisor, sponsored "Breakfast with a Leader" yesterday featuring John Q. Griffin, the new Chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA). Griffin, who steps up to Chairman of the MPA, while remaining the President of the Magazine Group, National Geographic Society, outlined his thoughts on the industry and what he believes magazines need to do to continue to prosper in this world of challenges and changes.

Mark M. Edmiston, a Managing Director of AdMedia Partners, introduced Griffin at the breakfast, which was held at The University Club in New York City for members of MPA and American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME).

Griffin started off his presentation on "The Power of Magazine Brands" by focusing on the magazine brand closest to him, National Geographic. Displaying one of the first photographs ever displayed in its pages, 108 years ago, he went on to say that at first many people were offended by the thought that National Geographic would try to convey its editorial message with pictures. Now, it is their landmark feature and for readers today, it is difficult to imagine exploring the world only in words - an example of the need to question conventional wisdom, especially as the industry faces the challenges brought on by the Internet revolution.

Admitting that there is a great deal of confusion and change in our industry with time compression, Internet growth, measurement accountability and the green movement, John was still optimistic about the future of the magazine industry and went on to list five major opportunities for the brand power of magazines.

Opportunity number one is to continue to increase advertising market share with our opt-in, portable products that are the mainstays of reader engagement. The second opportunity is to increase online reach and revenue for our magazine brands through both original content and reader contributed content as well. The next opportunity is to create a stable, timely, credible audience accumulation measurement. He offered this as a challenge for the magazine industry, and stated that much head-way has been made in the recent past to create measurement options; however, the measurement needs to be quicker and more efficient.

Another big opportunity is in promoting the buying and sampling of magazines to get the younger generation to get involved with magazines. And, last but not least, John Griffin reminded the attendees to "Think Green". The National Geographic Society is the largest user of recycled paper and they are a wind-powered company. However, as National Geographic has strived to showcase the finest photography, this is a constant struggle. But, the magazine industry must be leaders in best practices in recycling and in the environmental movement.

About AdMedia Partners

Founded in 1990, AdMedia Partners provides M&A advisory services for digital and traditional media, marketing and information businesses. The firm has completed over twenty media M&A deals in the past year, including transactions with Hachette Filipacchi Media, in its sale of assets of Premiere to Wenner Media, Bonnier AB, with its acquisition of Time4Media and The Parenting Group, and ReadyMade in its sale to Meredith.

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Greg Jarboe
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