Search

NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?


Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur

 

Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of LittleThings.com

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of Edmunds.com

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of Reputation.com

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

Tuesday
Aug192014

David J. Pecker: Chairman, President & CEO of American Media

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

David J. Pecker became Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Media, Inc. (AMI) in May 1999, when along with Evercore Partners, he purchased the company. Today, AMI is the leading publisher of celebrity and health & fitness magazines including Star, National Enquirer, Shape and Men’s Fitness.

Following 9/11 on October 2001, American Media became the first U.S. company to be targeted by bio-terrorists using anthrax, and one of its employees the first casualty of this new kind of war. Despite being evacuated from its corporate headquarters, Mr. Pecker moved quickly to relocate the company’s operations and all AMI titles were published on schedule.

In November of 2002, Mr. Pecker and Evercore acquired Weider Publications Inc. the leading publisher of health & fitness magazines, including category leader Shape and Men’s Fitness. It was the latest acquisition in a 20-year career that has seen Mr. Pecker complete more than $4 Billion in magazine transactions. In April 2003, Mr. Pecker participated in the $1.5 billion recapitalization of AMI led by Evercore and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Most recently, Mr. Pecker has been working through a transaction in which AMI will be acquired by Chatham Asset Management, LLC and Omega Partnership, L.P. at an enterprise value of $527 million. This deal would also provide AMI with significant liquidity allowing for the continued investment in digital that the company has strategically been making over the past two years.

How did you get into the media industry?

After I graduated Pace University in 1972, I joined Price Waterhouse.. After 8 years at Price Waterhouse, I was recruited to CBS magazines and rose to Controller and CFO in 5 years. I engineered a  $650mm leveraged buyout with the President of CBS Magazines, Peter Diamandis, and 2 other executives. This was the first LBO in the publishing industry. Within one year, we sold 8 magazines for $300mm and the balance of the company to Hachette Filipacchi Magazines for $725mm, France’s largest publisher. Our financial sponsor Prudential Seaport Capital recorded a $300mm profit on this transaction. The 2 owners of Hachette were Daniel Filipacchi and Jean Luc Lagardere. They mentored me for 2 years in every aspect of magazine publishing, from ad sales to production to editorial. Consequently, they asked me to become Chairman, President and CEO of Hachette magazines in the US in 1991. I followed through, launching Elle and Elle Décor magazines which are now owned by Hearst Publishing. I also partnered with John F. Kennedy Jr and was the Co-Founder of George, which was one of the biggest consumer magazine launches of its time.

What partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have helped American Media reach such high circulation?

 In 1998, after completing my contract with Hachette Filipacchi magazines, I partnered with Roger Altman of Evercore and purchased AMI for $850mm then we purchased the Globe for $100mm a strategic move that gave AMI 100% control over the celebrity category. Four years later, I acquired the Weider health & fitness titles, which included Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness for $350mm. This was a transformative occurrence for the company, broadening it from a tabloid media group to a consumer magazine publisher. Two years ago, we began a major investment in digital, as part of a strategy to reposition ourselves from a print publisher to a content provider. At the same time, we evolved Shape and Men’s Fitness from health & fitness magazines to active lifestyle brands.

What are your biggest successes and failures as CEO and how have you learned from them?

When AMI became the first American company to be victimized by bio-terrorism in 2001, I am proud to say that we never missed publishing a single one of our 7 weekly titles. The AMI staff worked under unbelievably austere conditions to get the job done, something, unfortunately, the mainstream media never recognized. I think our ability to remain profitable during even the worst economic times is also a major achievement, and the result of my having the best management team in the business working with me. In addition, our ROS margins never fell below 40%.

In terms of failures, I don’t dwell on them but I have learned that when running a company, you should always hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

What advice would you give to an aspiring media entrepreneur?

Don’t be afraid to take risks if you believe in what you’re doing. If I had listened to everyone who told me no, I’d still be working for someone else. 

Who is your role model, business and personal?

I have many. Larry Tisch was an early mentor. Ari Emanuel and Donald Trump are close friends who I admire. Ron Perelman and Ron Burkle are business associates I hold in the highest regard.

Life Motto? 

If you don’t love what you do, find another line of work.

Favorite travel destination? 

Paris

If there were one food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Broiled salmon and a glass of a great Chardonnay

What websites are most visited on your browser?

 Owning the leading brands in both celebrity and health & fitness, I naturally visit the sites that are direct competitors – TMZ, People, Perez, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, etc. Besides that, the NY Times, NY Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and other news and business sites.

What's next for American Media and David Pecker? 

 We will be implementing phase 2 of our digital plan later this year. AMI wisely sat on the sidelines while our competitors invested hundreds of millions dollars into digital without seeing a return. Even though we began our real digital initiative only 2 years ago, our sites are as technically robust as any other, perhaps more so, and all are profitable.

Over the next 3 years, we plan to aggressively build on this by further liquefying our exceptional content and unique brands across all of today’s media platforms and those yet to come.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

In April 2004, Mr. Pecker re-launched Star as a 100-page glossy, the first time a tabloid was ever successfully converted to magazine format.

From 2004 to the present, Mr. Pecker oversaw unprecedented growth in AMI’s advertising, with paging for its titles up 19% over the five year period (including a 58% increase for Star) while industry totals declined 8.7% for the same period. During this time, Shape became the #1 title in the Women’s Active Lifestyle Category, Men’s Fitness was successfully re-launched, and digital platforms were developed for all the company’s brands.

In February 2009, AMI revitalized its capital structure through a transaction with its bondholders, including Angelo, Gordon & Company and Avenue Capital Management LLC, that reduced its debt by $227 million in exchange for 95% ownership of the company. Mr. Pecker was asked to remain in his roles as Chairman, President and CEO and agreed.

Before acquiring American Media, Inc. Mr. Pecker was President and Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 1992, after being named President of Hachette Magazines, Inc. in September 1991. Prior to September 1990, Mr. Pecker had served as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Hachette Magazines, Inc. formerly Diamandis Communications Inc.

Mr. Pecker holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Pace University and attended Pace University Graduate School of Business. In May of 1998, the university awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science. Mr. Pecker was elected in 2009 as a Trustee of the Pace University Board of Trustees.