4As Notes: Print is Not Dying, says Time’s Squires

03/06/2008

Now that media conferences are in full swing, the question that keeps coming up is whether magazines are going the way of VHS and the horse and buggy. For John Squires, executive vice president of Time Inc, the answer was a resounding no.

At one session, David Verklin, CEO of Aegis Media America, asked Squires how Time Inc. is adapting to digital. Circumspect but optimistic, Squires noted: “We’re running fast, trying to innovate [everything] on a digital landscape. We’ve kind of been balancing challenges in our print business.” Although Squires conceded that their growth has been “flat” he also affirmed that “we have a responsibility to our shareholders.”

Squires was also cautious in his response to another of Verklin’s queries, this time about how with agency teams in different silos, how can companies only have one sales team? “I actually think this is our job. Increasingly it falls on us to do it. We have great relationships with agencies. It’s a bit more complicated when you have to serve the buying aspects…We’re going to have to pick up the slack and do it.”

Back to Topic A: Does Squires think print is a moribund medium? Hardly. Invoking one of Time’s own, People magazine, which churns out almost a “billion pages a month,” he asked rhetorically: “Is this brand dying?”