Production: Then and now
By Mark J. Miller
Corporate director of media operations
When Keith Hammerbeck joined Advanstar Communications back in 1982, it was still known as Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and he was a production manager for a healthcare title. Now corporate director of media operations, he's running the show.
Media Business: What are the biggest chal-lenges to the industry right now?
Keith Hammerbeck: The continued squeeze in ad pages, and the challenges of making content available in a number of different formats for different uses. With the reduction in ad revenue, making smart choices in how to reduce costs so that it is as transparent as possible to our end customers.
MB: What recent success with your production department are you most proud of?
Hammerbeck: We made a very major change in our operations about two years ago when we moved from in-house operations to offshore operations. Our staff level went from over 100 to five. We had to create everything from scratch, so it was a rather long transition period. I am now very proud of the progress we have made, things are going very smoothly, and a number of functions are working better than they did in the past.
Obviously, the cost structure is much different and allows what used to be a marginal publication (to) remain profitable. I think that the b-to-b industry can benefit from this because there is now a viable offshore option for other publishers to use.