FOLIO: Shouldn’t it be “customer first,” and not “digital first?”PG: It’s always customer first. The wave of engagement in content consumption is happening in the most robust way in the form of digital platforms. It really comes down to this notion: You have to be constantly disrupting yourselves in order to serve your customers most effectively in every medium that they require. FOLIO: What is your current revenue structure and what do you want it to be?PG: We probably have 30 percent of overall revenue through digital platforms, which is pretty healthy. The goal is to get north of 50 percent over time in terms of digital revenue as a percent of the whole.FOLIO: Last year, Frank Anton said HW had shut down 14 magazines, and might have to shut down a lot more, leaving three core titles. Speak to that comment.PG: Every year we have to rationalize our portfolio, and place our bets on the brands that produce the most promise. Portfolio decisions are a day-by-day ongoing endeavor. FOLIO: What criteria do you use when you rationalize your portfolio?PG: It is incumbent on executives to be as close to the customer as possible, and listen and understand what the pain points are, and help them solve problems. And then you have to come back to the mothership and create the right products and services to solve their marketing needs. FOLIO: What do you see as your company’s big opportunities?PG: The opportunity is in creating a culture supporting and nurturing innovation and constant product development. You always have an opportunity to iterate and get things right as you go. You have to be willing to disrupt.FOLIO: One of the speakers here said b-to-b media companies today need to be two companies, one for today and one for tomorrow. Do you agree?PG: You don’t necessarily have be two companies, but you need to be one company always be prepared to reinvent itself. Frank always said, ‘If it’s good, make it better, if it’s better, make it the best, and if it’s the best, it’s time to reinvent it.’ At The Atlantic, they were always prepared to disrupt themselves. It’s really about running one company that has the commitment and is comfortable with innovation as a core cultural ethos.FOLIO: What are your immediate priorities?PG: To understand that the company’s been through a lot of challenges, but to get everyone to believe in a sense of optimism. These are premium brands that matter to the audience. That’s leveragable. Second is to push forward on this notion of digital-product development and digital innovation. It’s a golden age of media marketing. There are so many ways we can serve our markets and our marketing partners. We just have to make our bets in the right areas. And finally it comes down to talent. Do you have the right people in the right places to really push forward?And you’ve got to have fun. Everyone misses their numbers. You’re going to miss numbers. You’re not to going to succeed every time, but you have to get up and say, ‘Today is going to be fun, because we’re going to try X, Y, and Z. You do what’s right for the business and doing what’s right for the business can be really fun. FOLIO: The company’s performance has been, euphemistically, challenged. What’s the outlook?PG: There’s been solid growth in the last year. Trade shows are starting to recover. Some of the market sectors are starting to perform better than others. Commercial design is one. Two years ago, Frank and I were able to secure a deal to become the official magazine for the American Institute of Architects. We took over their show and re-launched the official magazine, Architect. That platform has been performing very well. The commercial sector wasn’t as battered as the residential sector, but our performance is attributable to the Architect launch and the relationship with the AIA. It was one of the biggest magazine launches of the last 10 years. FOLIO: What other sectors show promise?PG: The remodeling sector in residential is doing better than the new-construction sector. New construction is sort of bouncing along the bottom, although there are signs of recovery.Most importantly, we have a more advantageous capital structure. Restructuring of the company manifests itself in a more flexible debt structure, and the owners are supportive of making strategic investments in the company. These investments will be in the form of acquisitions and in technology and talent that we need to drive the digital-first strategy. It’s been a busy few months for Hanley Wood, the b-to-b media company that specializes in the residential housing market and has endured—because of the state of the housing market—one of the worst five-year runs of any media company ever. In January, the company recapitalized, reducing debt by $330 million to about $80 million, and receiving an influx of $35 million in new investment from three new private-equity owners, Oaktree Capital Management, Strategic Value Partners and Tennenbaum Capital Partners.While gaining some relief from crushing debt was good for the company (if not for the prior owners), the company still faces struggles, having lost about $100 million in revenue between 2007 and 2011, with projected revenue for 2012 of about $140 million. FOLIO: caught up with Goldstone at this week’s American Business Media Annual Conference in San Francisco. Following are excerpts from the conversation.FOLIO: First, congratulations on your new job. Tell us how you came to be back at Hanley Wood as CEO.Peter Goldstone [PG]: The company changed hands, and Frank Anton and the new owners had been discussing the transition of Frank to the chairman’s role. And the new owners decided to conduct a narrow search. They contacted me and asked me if I’d be interested in coming back. My answer was unequivocally yes. Then in April, the CEO, Frank Anton, long considered one of the industry’s best executives, transitioned to the role of chairman, and Peter Goldstone (pictured), who had been with the company for 11 years before moving to Atlantic Media in 2010, came back as CEO.
More than two dozen dates from May through Oct. have been announced, interspersed with Bryan’s festival appearancesPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Jan 18, 2019 – 2:22 pm On Jan. 17 country star Luke Bryan announced more than two dozen dates for his Sunset Repeat Tour, beginning on May 31 in Philadelphia and continuing through summer and fall until its final Oct. 12 date in Raleigh, North Carolina. His supporting acts are Jon Langston, DJ Rock and Cole Swindell.The tour’s title is drawn from the tale told by Bryan’s hit “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset,” which reached No. 35 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in Sept. 2018. “Repeat” is the fourth word following the song title’s formula for how the days of a summer romance were spent. The song appeared on his 2017 No. 1 album What Makes You Country. Twitter News Facebook Luke Bryan Announces Sunset Repeat Tour https://twitter.com/LukeBryanOnline/status/1086087812716257280 Luke Bryan Announces Sunset Repeat Tour luke-bryan-announces-sunset-repeat-tour Email Of his seven full-length albums, starting with 2007’s I’ll Stay Me through 2017’s What Makes You Country, Luke Bryan charted high on the Billboard 200, with four albums reaching No. 1.Tickets and tour dates are available on Bryan’s website, which also lists his upcoming festival schedule and Bryan’s own Jan. 23–26 Crash My Playa fest at Riviera Mayo, Mexico.Luke Bryan’s ‘What Makes You Country’ Reaches No. 1Read more
US-based IT major Cognizant Technologies Services Pvt Ltd is seeking the government’s nod to build a special economic zone (SEZ) in India’s youngest state, Telangana.The company’s application to set up SEZ will be scrutinised by the Board of Approval (BoA) at its meeting on 23 February. The BoA is headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia.The proposed IT/ITeS SEZ will come up in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana and it will be spread over 2.51 hectares.Due to an introduction of minimum alternate tax (MAT) by the central government on SEZs, such projects have taken a back seat. To revive the interest in setting up SEZs, the commerce ministry has proposed the finance ministry to do away with the tax, Press Trust of India reports.At this month’s meeting, the BoA will also examine other SEZ projects, including those to be set up by Kandla Port Trust and GP Realtors. The developers of the two SEZs have asked for more time for the implementation of their projects.Kandla Port Trust — developer of multi-product SEZ at Kandla and Tuna — wants the validity period of formal approval to be extended beyond 6 May, according to the agenda note of the BoA meeting.GP Realtors Pvt Ltd has sought approval for further extension of the deadline to complete its electronic hardware and IT/ITeS SEZ in Haryana.At its previous meeting on 23 December last year, the board had given its approval for 13 SEZ developers, who had asked for more time to complete the projects.Exports from SEZs in the country reached Rs 2.21 lakh crore in the April-September period in the current fiscal year compared to Rs 4.63 lakh crore in 2014-15. About 15.44 lakh jobs were generated by these zones in the first half of 2015-16.
Indian Real Estate SectorReuters FileMore than 6 lakh houses have failed to meet the delivery schedule in the National Capital Region (NGR), with nearly 2 lakh homes late for delivery by more than two years, according to data compiled by Liases Forras — a real-estate rating and research firm.Most of the delayed houses in the NCR are in Noida, Greater Noida and Gurgaon. While NCR is the top among 43 cities where such deliveries are stalled, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is second: 1.31 lakh houses are delayed here by more than two years, the Times of India reported.According to the research firm’s data, one in three houses gets delayed by more than two years in the NCR and one in four in the Mumbai region.Also, around 29.23 lakh houses under construction are delayed and over 50 percent of these are delayed by at least one year or more, according to the data.Besides the NCR and Mumbai, homebuyers even in Chennai, Pune and Bengaluru are facing delays in house delivery by more than two years.This analysis comes at a time when real-estate companies are pushing hard to finish incomplete projects with tougher rules under the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA).The housing ministry has enforced the Act to make sure lakhs of people who have bought houses with their life savings but are still waiting for their houses are protected.”The law was brought to protect affected buyers and for future buyers. That’s why RERA does not differentiate between incomplete and new projects. The Centre has submitted its view on this to the Bombay High Court,” a government official said. Jaypee InfratechReutersDespite this law, real-estate firms such as Unitech, Jaypee Infratech and Amrapalli are being pursued by banks and homebuyers who had paid them advance but not received their houses, and have since turned to courts for recourse.They fear that they would lose out in case of liquidation because then the home buyers’ claims would be considered only after those of secured creditors like the banks have been settled.”The present situation has been the fallout of an investor-driven market, more commitment by the developers rather than what they could deliver and its arbitrary regulatory intervention such as stopping all construction activities in certain areas,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director of Liases Foras.Earlier this year, reports also suggested that as many as 826 residential projects in the country were facing delays extending to four years. Of the 2,300-odd under-construction projects in December 2016, 826 residential and 60 commercial projects were facing substantial delays.Sources in the housing ministry said they have now sought the details of delayed projects from each state.
Thousands of milk farmers across Maharashtra launched an agitation for their various demands early on Monday, hitting supply of fresh milk across big and small cities in the state.Scores of milk tankers bound for major cities including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and others were blocked in different parts of the state, raising the spectre of milk shortage.As the agitation continued, around a dozen milk tankers each from Nashik and Kolhapur were despatched for Mumbai under armed police escorts, while the Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party and others threw their weight behind the agitators.The farmers’ groups, led by Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) and Maharashtra Kisan Sabha (MKS), are demanding a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre milk, waiver of goods and services tax (GST) on butter and milk powder among others.Tankers laden with lakhs of litres of milk were waylaid and emptied on the roads in Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, Sangli, Beed, Palghar, Buldana, Washim, Aurangabad and Solapur, while at least one tanker was torched near Amravati en route to the big cities, which are totally dependent on supplies from the rural areas.In other places, activists performed the symbolic ‘dudh-abhishek’ with milk in major temples in Pandharpur, Pune, Beed, Nashik, Ahmednagar and other places to lodge their protest even as the state government warned of strict action.At some places, top leaders like SSS president and MP Raju Shetti and MKS president Ajit Nawale took to the streets to block the milk tankers while several big and small milk cooperatives announced support to the farmers’ agitation.”The state government has fixed the procurement price of Rs 27 per litre but the farmers get barely Rs 17 per litre. We are demanding a direct subsidy of Rs 5 per litre to the farmers, as provided in Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.”With a drop in the rates of skimmed milk powder, even the milk cooperatives are facing a tough time,” Shetti told the media.Nawale said the government’s announcement of Rs 50 per kg subsidy for milk powder may not benefit the farmers since the prices of milk powder have come down in the international market, but would be a boon to private companies which convert milk into powder.As the issue was taken up in the Maharashtra Legislature in Nagpur, animal husbandry and dairy development minister Mahadev Jankar assured that the cities would not suffer any milk shortages.He said that Mumbai, which requires over seven million litres fresh milk daily, has adequate stocks of 15 days. Most urban centres together account for over 10 million litres, with Pune and surroundings needing 1.3 million daily.”We are trying to resolve the issue. If anybody attempts to break the law, they will be dealt with sternly,” Jankar warned the farmers, and later said the government was prepared to give Rs 3 per litre subsidy.Minister of State for Cooperation Subhash Deshmukh accused the protesting leaders of deliberately “misleading” milk producers with the agitation.”Their sole objective seems to be to embarrass the state government and harass the milk producers,” he said.On reports that the government planned to “import” milk from Gujarat and Karnataka to meet the requirements, Shetti shot back that it was a ploy to break the farmers agitation and they would launch a satyagraha against the state’s move.According to official figures, Maharashtra has approximately 15,000 cooperative dairy societies, 85 cooperative dairy unions, 98 milk processing plans, 156 chilling centres and 192 cold storages including 167 in the private sector.