Ives writes, “The job cuts, another buyer said, won’t help in that effort. ‘By cutting their staff in any significant way, they’re really hurting the product in the long run,’ said Audrey Siegel, exec VP-director of client services at TargetCast, the independent media agency. T’here are fewer and fewer people qualified to make the sales calls. We’re looking for more and more in-depth conversations about the business and how we can partner. We’re not looking for anyone to sell us pages.’
“Readers are the other factor asserting new importance. Fortune is testing the proposition that its readers don’t care much about the current frequency, cutting its schedule to 18 higher-polish issues every year from 24 now. That also means a de facto subscription-price increase, because subscription prices are staying the same while the number of issues falls 28%.
“That should help undo the decline that Fortune, like Forbes, has seen in readers’ contribution. Fortune netted 83Â¢ per copy from subscribers last year, down from 90Â¢ in 2007 and $1.43 in 2003. ‘Over the years they went to a model that doesn’t ask the reader to pay their fair share,’ said Ms. Siegel. ‘They were really reliant on advertisers. And when the bottom fell out — when certain categories such as technology, finance and luxury goods really pulled back — the magazines were left holding the bag.’
“Media buyers generally like the idea of charging readers more. ‘It’s just creating a better balance from your revenue sources and overall should make for a healthier business model,’ Mr. Kruse said.”
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