A nationally known culinary publication with 1 million subscribers was losing money in operations and facing declining circulation. The COO wanted outside assistance, with a fresh point of view, to assist in evaluating the business and suggesting options for improvement.
A NextLevel executive, as a consultant, assisted the COO in researching reader preferences and restructuring the business. He contracted for reader research to determine reader interest in the magazine, and determined that the magazine had become too narrowly focused on food and recipes that were difficult to prepare, required unusual, expensive and hard-to-find ingredients, and took hours to cook. The COO worked with the editorial staff to increase coverage of more mainstream recipes, for food-interested but busy working readers. The NextLevel executive also led a structural review that identified approximately 20 percent in overhead reductions, which were implemented. He mentored a project team of five ‘emerging stars’, who took greater leadership roles within the business during and after the project.
- Readership of the magazine steadied, then rose and surpassed prior levels.
- Return on sales rose 15 percent, with the magazine returning to profitability.