JOURNALIST Q&A: Tony Silber

The magazine industry often appears as a minor league of celebrities, with editors and publishers appearing as bold-faced names on the same gossip pages that follow the exploits of much more famous actors and actresses. One outlet that stays above the gossip fray is M10 Communications, which earlier this year launched a website and a quarterly magazine, the M10 Leadership Review, that's set to publish six times a year. Tony Silber, an industry veteran and M10's managing partner, talks to PRWeek about not getting caught up in the buzz.

The magazine industry often appears as a minor league of celebrities, with editors and publishers appearing as bold-faced names on the same gossip pages that follow the exploits of much more famous actors and actresses. One outlet that stays above the gossip fray is M10 Communications, which earlier this year launched a website and a quarterly magazine, the M10 Leadership Review, that's set to publish six times a year. Tony Silber, an industry veteran and M10's managing partner, talks to PRWeek about not getting caught up in the buzz.

PRWeek: Considering its size, the magazine business is covered by a number of outlets from trades to consumer publications. The New York Times even has a reporter dedicated to the industry. Where does M10 fit into the world of reporting about magazines? Tony Silber: Our niche is well-defined and very clear. It's about innovation and insight. It goes to top management. It's all about who's doing what that's winning. You won't find anything in our magazine about what the hot restaurants are in New York City, where Tina Brown was seen eating, or who the hot young editors are. Our magazine is about magazine-business strategies for top managers. PRWeek: What do you think are some of the more potent strategies out there? Silber: I think the key strategy is integrated media. This is nothing new, but I think magazine companies have a hard time getting beyond lip service when you talk about offering media in whatever form a customer wants. The truth is, the ad page generates the most revenue. They have a hard time with websites and all kinds of other media. PRWeek: You were editor and publisher at Folio. How does M10 compare to Folio's niche? Silber: During the past two or three years, Folio experimented radically with its editorial position. For a while, it was called the magazine for magazine management, but it was always for the whole magazine industry, from entry-level on up. M10 will never be for entry-level people. M10 is for executive and discipline-director-level management and for aspirational middle managers. PRWeek: M10 doesn't get caught up in the personalities that dominate the business. Is it hard to avoid that personality-driven coverage that can verge into gossip? Silber: I don't think so. You just cover those personalities in the context of the innovative stuff they're doing. There's a reason you have these dominant personalities. They're usually pretty smart people with interesting things to say. You try to find what they're doing that's innovative. It comes down to good journalism, to go beyond the personality, and find out what's really going on with the business. And that's the difference for us. Most people will focus on the personality alone and focus on the trappings. We're not as interested in the trappings as the underlying business. We're the classic definition of a trade magazine. ----- Name Tony Silber Publication M10 Communications Title Managing partner Preferred contact method tsilber@m10report.com Website www.m10report.com

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