Hiring outside the box

Transcontinental Media is Canada’s largest publisher of consumer magazines and the country’s fourth largest print media company. When Transcontinental went looking for a new boss to run their magazine division, one might expect that a hefty dose of experience in the print business would be a prerequisite for the job.

Finding a job in Canadian magazines isn’t easy, so when a guy who’s never worked in the business gets the top position at one of the country’s largest publishers, a few “WTF?” emails are bound to go around.

John Clinton is their new VP and while he has done just about everything a person can do in the advertising world (and he’s a pretty darn good artist too), running a print business was nowhere to be found on his resume. The magazine industry, much like TV, radio and newspapers are searching for new growth strategies in an era where the internet continues to gobble more of the market pie.

“Most of the people in magazines seem to have been in the magazine business for a long time. Coming from advertising, you can come at it from quite a different perspective.” For example, while publishers and editors often view other magazines as competition, Clinton argues that the real competition comes from other media. “What’s magazine, 7% of the media business? To sit there and beat each other’s brains out over the 7% doesn’t make as much sense as expanding the whole piece of the pie.” “We are not a magazine company” As part of his pie-growing strategy, Clinton wants to change the way staff at Transcontinental think about the products they work on. “We are not a magazine company—we are a media company. We service communities of interest and we surround those communities with magazine, with Web, with mobile, with distribution, with event.”

Cue the cliche; ‘If you keep asking the same questions, you will continue getting the same answers.’ By hiring outside the box and bringing in some creative mojo, Transcontinental will no doubt be hearing some different questions asked, and with that comes the prospect for new answers, new ideas and new possibilities. via Masthead Online