Earlier in my career (pre-LBM Journal), I wrote a monthly letter to a board of directors, with detailed financial information and strategic updates into what my teammates and I were doing to drive their magazine forward. LBM Journal remains independent, with no corporate overlords or board of directors, so we report only to you, our readers and advertisers. Because you are our stakeholders, I like to update you periodically on what’s going on with your media company.
You may have heard that print is dead. To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of print’s death are exaggerated. It’s true that many print publications have either gone digital only or out of business, I assure you that, in our industry, print is far from dead. At LBM Journal, it remains our single biggest source of revenue, which means it’s still working for advertisers. And that’s no surprise, as our quarter research shows 55% of our readers read only the print edition vs. 16% who read only the digital edition—the remaining 29% read both print and digital. (True story: in 2008, the head of the largest publisher in residential construction announced a “digital-first strategy.” I wondered if this much-larger competitor knew something I didn’t. Our latest research showed that nearly 90% of our subscribers preferred print. As the other guys pivoted to a digital-first strategy, we stuck with our “customer-first strategy.” Without going into details, we learned that it pays to listen to your customers.)
Our big news is that we recently added a full-time managing editor to the LBM Journal team. Mike Berger is a seasoned business journalist with an extensive background in the LBM and hardware industries. If his name looks familiar, that’s because he’s been researching and writing our every-issue “In Depth” product features. With the print magazine remaining strong, and our digital offerings (daily e-newsletter, website, webinars, podcasts) and annual event growing, our team was stretched thin (which I know is something many of you are wrestling with). Mike is already working closely with our creative team, Editor James Anderson and Creative Director Richard Hart, to deliver more of the insights you rely on to grow your business.
While I get to share these successes with you, nothing happens without the incredible LBM Journal team. This small-but-mighty group punches far above its weight, and they’re at the heart of all that we do—including the annual LBM Strategies Conference, which will be held October 12-14 in Denver. As I write this, we have nearly 150 LBM dealers and distributors already registered, and an agenda that has more than 25 LBM pros taking the stage to share their insights. If you’d like to attend an event where the dealer/distributor attendees far outnumber sponsors—we’d love to see you in Denver!
When you talk, we listen. We have some exciting initiatives underway, based on what you’ve told us you want and need. Without you, our customers and stakeholders, we don’t exist. On behalf of the entire LBM Journal team, thank you for your support, and for letting us help you grow your sales, your business, and your brand.
— Rick Schumacher
Executive Editor & Publisher