Cygnus CEOs Assess Their Tenure

first_imgWhen ABRY Partners decided in the middle of 2006 to take Cygnus Business Media in a new direction, putting the $120 million company under a pair of co-CEOs, it surely didn’t anticipate the angst that was to come. Cygnus—which by most accounts is close to being sold as this issue of FOLIO: goes to press—has endured as rough a stretch as a company could over the past two years. Consider:• The company—which has changed ownership three times since 1997—is one of a declining number of multiple-market print-centric b-to-b publishers, all of which are threatened by the shift of readers and marketing dollars online. • The co-CEOs, Carr Davis and Tony O’Brien, were not familiar with old-line b-to-b publishing when they were named to their post in June of 2006, having come from a much smaller, $7 million content-sales company.• In an industry where the strength of the product depends overwhelmingly on the people—their relationships and institutional knowledge—Cygnus has experienced a significant exodus of talent over the last couple of years.• The company suffered a blow to morale last September when it announced salary cuts for most employees. The cuts were mostly restored by the first of the year, but ill-will lingers. • S&P earlier this year adjusted Cygnus’ credit rating from stable to negative. S&P cited Cygnus’ limited liquidity, high debt leverage, small EBITDA base and what it calls “difficult business fundamentals.” It also called Cygnus’ margin of compliance with covenants “very thin.” A key challenge for Cygnus, according to S&P, will be refinancing $157 million in debt that’s due next year.Despite all this, Davis and O’Brien are bullish about their two-year tenure and about the future, saying they’ve taken the company through a period of necessary change that has strengthened it, especially in the area of e-media. What’s more, they point out, despite the changes, they’ve held headcount steady without resorting to the layoffs many of their peer companies have implemented. Now the company is in conversations with potential buyers, and current owner ABRY Partners is presumed to be anxious to divest the company it bought in 2000 for $275 million. A deal was said to be in the advanced stages at presstime. FOLIO: recently spoke to Davis and O’Brien about all these issues. Following are excerpts. FOLIO:: Tell us about the state of the company.Davis: Progress continues to be made in the right direction in a difficult time. In 2007, we grew interactive revenue by 60 percent. Ten percent of our overall business is now interactive, up from 4.5 percent when we took over the company. O’Brien: We want to get it higher. Davis: We focus our efforts on getting our customers the media solutions they’re asking for. The more you drive traffic to your Web sites, the more it makes it compelling to advertise. O’Brien: One of the most gratifying things we’ve done is make huge strides in pre-booking. FOLIO:: What e-products are driving growth?O’Brien: We’ve found that Webinars are a growth tool. Davis: We’ve doubled the number of Webinars that we sold in 2007—over 100 this year compared to the fifties in 2006. The growth areas we’ve seen continue to be in the interactive area. And here’s what’s really growing: An integrated package that includes print, interactive and expos. Even interactive won’t grow much without having a good print product. FOLIO:: What is the company’s overall revenue mix? Davis: Twenty percent of revenue is from expos. Ten percent is from e-media. The rest is from print and custom publishing. FOLIO:: How big do you want the interactive revenue stream to be? Davis: About 15 percent. We’re at 10 percent now and 15 percent is as good a target as any for the short term. We’d like it to be even bigger than that. FOLIO:: You’re a $120 million company. How do you project topline growth this year?Davis: We’re not discussing projections at this juncture. FOLIO:: Are you feeling the impact of a soft economy?Davis: There are going to be fluctuations. Both Tony and I feel the first half met our expectations. We continue to grow in the online area. We grew in the amount of customers who are buying interactive from us. We grew by 1,500 customers from 2006 to 2008. FOLIO:: What about the S&P report suggesting worrisome business fundamentals?Jim Ogle, Cygnus CFO: While the debt load is higher than S&P prefers, we are no different than many of our industry peers in terms of leverage multiples. Obviously, the credit environment has changed dramatically from when the company was last financed. However, we have a good relationship with our bank and ample liquidity to operate the business.FOLIO:: You say you’ve reallocated people but not reduced the company’s headcount. How?Davis: From a headcount point of view, we’re essentially the same. We have about 600 people in this company. It may not feel that way to certain people. As the captain, I have a sense of what’s going on for the whole ship. But as we’ve evolved, we needed to make investments in the interactive department. For example, we did a lot of hiring of interactive product managers—people we placed between the sales force and the technology people. And it’s interesting what skills they need: They need to be affable enough to sell and technical enough to interact with the technology people. We’ve hired about eight of them. FOLIO:: How many of the Cygnus brands are ones and twos in their markets?Davis: A majority of them. There are always exceptions of course. In certain cases, like in public safety, we totally dominate. I’m happy to say we have some franchises like that.FOLIO:: Which brands are the company’s growth leaders? Which are driving that e-media growth? Where are you looking for growth next year?Davis: Our shelter group is a leader, but we’re having a hard time in that industry this year—the whole industry is struggling. But it has been and continues to be a growth area for us. Security and certainly public safety is a growth area for us. FOLIO:: Describe the impact of your tenure as co-CEOs.Davis: It’s been an opportunity to add value to a great company. The way we do that is by continuing to focus our efforts on making all three areas grow. O’Brien: We’ve tried to build up the infrastructure in both technology and in people. FOLIO:: What have you learned along the way?Davis: The value of the business was always in the brands, and the opportunity is to build on those brands. FOLIO:: What are some of the key areas of innovation?Davis: We’ve focused on the Hispanic market as a growth area, particularly in custom marketing. Another key initiative is the ad network, BBN, which we developed with 24/7 Real Media and three other publishers—McGraw-Hill, Reed and Nielsen.FOLIO:: Last year you reorganized dramatically, eliminating a slew of senior-management positions and organizing the company around five brand directors. How has that worked?Davis: I think the results are very successful. We pre-booked more revenue in interactive for 2008 than we did in the entire year of 2006. O’Brien: While we have fewer vice presidents, we have more brand directors in the trenches. FOLIO:: One of your brand directors, Shari Dodgen, responsible for custom marketing and considered one of the company’s superstars, recently left. Why?Davis: We don’t comment on any personnel issues, but we feel that the work we are embarking on in custom marketing in the Hispanic market is something that will serve us well. FOLIO:: The blogs are filled with vitriolic comments about Cygnus. Why the extraordinary level of emotion directed at this company and at both of you?Davis: Our company and our industry are in transition. Our business is one that has to be very forward looking. Our decisions are made so we can keep Cygnus growing. It’s important to have good morale for the future. The fact that the company grew revenue by 5 percent and interactive by 60 percent bears out the decisions we’ve made. The company’s growth and future are secure.O’Brien: It’s hard to attribute motivations to people who are posting things anonymously.FOLIO:: You sued several former employees who left Cygnus to form their own company. Doesn’t that come off as bullying?Davis: Cygnus like any other company will do everything we can to protect its assets. FOLIO:: Is there anything you’d do differently?Davis: We have to acknowledge that the trade press is no longer the default position for marketing for most of our clients. The sooner you acknowledge that the more focused you can be on helping your advertisers tell their story through your products. Here’s my analogy: When you and I were growing up we all defaulted to three TV stations. Today there are 150. In b-to-b, marketers had nowhere to go but the b-to-b press. But we’re not the default anymore, because marketers can tell their own stories on their own Web sites. SIDEBAR: Cygnus Likely to Sell for Less Than What Was Paid in 2000Cygnus Business Media is in the late stages of a sale by ABRY Partners to some new owner. If the company does sell, ABRY will have divested what has become a deeply problematic investment in recent years. ABRY bought Cygnus in 2000 for $275 million and subsequently went on a campaign of 14 bolt-on acquisitions over the next several years that added tens of millions of dollars in new investments in the company and effectively raised the transaction price at which ABRY would break even on divestment. When Cygnus was pulled off the block in 2006, a source at the time said the price—reportedly about the same as ABRY paid in 2000—was not enough.Now, though, ABRY is likely to get less than that $275 million transaction price, according to a knowledgeable source. “ABRY is about an eight-times company,” the source said, meaning that the company’s perceived value is about eight-times earnings, which are reportedly about $30 million. “But no one believes Cygnus is generating $30 million on an ongoing basis. Many of their properties are understaffed. It’s more like $25 million, and eight-times that is $200 million,” the source contended. Following is a review of the add-on acquisitions Cygnus made following its acquisition by ABRY in 2000.• December 2000: Acquires Locksmith Publishing, adding two print magazines, two Web sites and a trade show.• January 2001: Acquires remaining 51 percent interest in Spencer/Cygnus Regional Print Network, a group of regional printing magazines.• June 2001: Acquires Design/Build Business magazine and Web site.• October 2001: Acquires GSE Today magazine, Web site, and trade show. • November 2001: Acquires Professional Tool & Equipment Distributor.• May 2002: Acquires Frozen Food Age and Food Logistics magazines.• June 2002: Acquires Vulcan Publications, with eight publications and their related properties in the construction and industrial markets. • August 2002: Acquires AS3, an Aviation Services and Suppliers trade show.• November 2002: Acquires The Fire-EMS Information Network, a Web portal.• January 2003: Acquires Professional Trade Shows from Penton Media, adding 25 regional industrial trade shows in 22 states serving four markets.• February 2003: Acquires the Solid Surface International Trade Show and Expo.• May 2003: Acquires Finishing & Restoration magazine.• August 2003: Acquires Asphalt Contractor magazine.• February 2004: Acquires The CONEX series of eight regional building and construction tradeshows and the New England Snow & Ice Removal Show.last_img read more

Total Request Live MTV Reboots A Classic

first_img Facebook MTV Will Bring Back “TRL” total-request-live-mtv-reboots-classic Email Twitter “Total Request Live”: MTV Reboots A Classic News MTV turnaround slates classic “TRL” to return in October with multiple co-hostsPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Jul 31, 2017 – 1:53 pm GRAMMY.com”TRL,” aka “Total Request Live,” was cancelled in 2008 but MTV recently told The New York Times that the fan-favorite show will return this October.The original show featured a countdown of popular music videos while a live studio audience looked on in hopes of a celebrity guest dropping by, all hosted by personality Carson Daly. The show was pivotal in launching the careers of teen pop sensations in the late ’90s and early ’00s, including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson, while N’Sync and Backstreet Boys reached their commercial height after appearing on the hit series.The new version of “TRL” will initially air for a one-hour timeslot, with the option to expand to two or three hours in the future. It will be helmed by five co-hosts, including comedian/rapper DC Young Fly and radio personality Erik Zachary.”TRL” caters to MTV’s core audience of 18- to 34-year-olds, the voices of whom MTV President Chris McCarthy wants to highlight as MTV works to reinvent itself and get back to its roots.”MTV at its best — whether it’s news, whether it’s a show, whether it’s a docu-series — is about amplifying young people’s voices,” McCarthy said. “We put young people on the screen, and we let the world hear their voices.”Bringing back “TRL” is just one way McCarthy plans to do this. “When you talk to artists and they say to you, unaware of what we’re doing, can you bring back ‘TRL’? We’d be crazy not to reinvent that.”So what’s next, by request?A new iconic studio to house “TRL” is under construction, and McCarthy’s plans to feature “young people’s voices” in his new slate of programming show promise across the network’s schedule.Get ready for New York with the 60th GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 28last_img read more

A Perfect Circle On Influences Collaboration Building Eat The Elephant

first_img Twitter A Perfect Circle Talk Building ‘Eat The Elephant’ perfect-circle-influences-collaboration-building-eat-elephant News NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Dec 25, 2018 – 7:27 am A Perfect Circle Talk ‘Eat The Elephant’ A Perfect Circle On Influences, Collaboration & Building ‘Eat The Elephant’ The influential rock group stopped by the GRAMMY Museum to discuss the impetus for their new music, their early influences and the creative process behind their big 2018 returnNate HertweckGRAMMYs Dec 25, 2018 – 7:30 am A Perfect Circleis the kind of band fans wait with bated breath to hear new music from, no matter how long they are away. In the case of Eat The Elephant, the band’s fourth album, the wait was a full 14 years. Still, the new material was met with much anticipation, a testament to the art. Email Back in October, we premiered a video for the title track from the album-length film the band made for Eat The Elephant. In the song, lead singer and songwriter Maynard James Keenan’s stark, haunting vocals creek and soar over lead composer and guitarist Billy Howerdel’s dynamic backdrop. During a recent visit to the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles,as Keenan and Howerdel shared how they came to revisit the project after all these years away.”I think it was just time,” said Keenan. “I was really busy with Puscifer for quite a while. Then I was gonna get back into doing some Tool music, and they weren’t ready, so I was like [to Howerdel], “Hey, what’s up?”The time passed since their previous album, 2004’s Emotive, manifests itself on Eat The Elephant in the space within and around its songs, creating a new sonic environment from the band’s previous work. This had everything to do with how the songs’ foundations were built.”A lot of times on this record we had the song kind of almost complete, and then he put the vocals on top. It was pretty amazing,” explained Howerdel. “Maynard had a lot more input into the music this time, just to, you know, try to some things, because he knew where he was gonna go vocally. He wasn’t in the room when I was working on the music, so we’d kind of lightly steer in that direction. And I think it worked out because he just had something in mind and then was able to throw the solid final performance on top of it.”When it comes to architecting a vocal, Keenan does it like no one else. The genesis of his genius instincts begin with responding to the music, as he revealed during the conversation. “First and foremost, it’s a reaction to the melodies and structures and time signatures that the group of musicians are presenting me, whether it’s Mat Mitchell, or Billy, or Tool,” he said. “It’s all a reaction melodically to those rhythms, constructing it in a way that feels like an actual conversation. And I of course react better when they’re not in 4/4. I don’t speak in 4/4.””Then [I] figure out where that emotion is going, and then just look at your life experiences, what you’re experiencing at the moment, and attach a set of words or a circumstance to that set of rhythms and melodies to see if it opens up a whole story, because you know, human interaction, human experience from birth to death, there’s an infinite number of flavors and colors and bandwidths and emotions that come with those experiences.”Keenan also named an intriguing roster of early influences, providing a glimpse into his stylistic DNA. His early exposure to everything from Roberta Flack to Black Sabbath to Joni Mitchell led to an appreciation of Minor Threat, Killing Joke, Swans and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, which in turn led him to Gillian Welch and PJ Harvey.”To me, there’s a sadness that’s captivating in that writing that’s essential,” Keenan says of Welch, Harvey and his tastes as they’ve evolved over the course of his life.A Perfect Circle has evolved, too. At its core, it’s a dynamic collaboration, which means Keenan and Howerdel cannot say what will come next.”It’s a marriage of sorts,” says Howerdel. “You have to make this more than just the sum of its parts, more than the sum of the two of us. That comes from the unknown of collaboration… Having collaboration is the magic of never knowing what’s coming next.”A Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel On New Music, Touring Again & MoreRead more Facebook last_img read more

Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals Live streaming playing XI and global TV

first_imgUSAWillow TV Close CanadaWillow TV IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:44Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:43?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Mumbai Indians are favorites for IPL 2018 glory BangladeshChannel 9 AustraliaFox Sports South AfricaSuperSportcenter_img UKStar Gold New ZealandSky Sports SubcontinentStar Sports AfghanistanLemar TV Mumbai Indians ready themselves to take on the rechristened Delhi Capitals in their first match of the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on March 24. When and where to watch the match on TV, onlineThe IPL match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi Capitals (DC) will start at 8 pm local time and 2:30 pm GMT.Star Sports 1 & HD1 (English) and Star Sports 3 & HD3 (Hindi) will provide live television coverage of the match. The worldwide live stream will be available on Hotstar.MI vs DC preview Mumbai Indians tend to win the IPL in alternate years and their three previous victories came in 2013, 2015 and 2017. If one was to go by that pattern, 2019 would be their turn at the summit. But trends are bucked every day in the IPL and 2019 promises to be no different.  Mumbai Indians will be keen to put their 2018 behind them.IANSDelhi will definitely want to be the flagbearers of bucking trends this season as they have failed to make it to the playoffs since 2012. The team has changed its name from Daredevils to Capitals and have roped in Sourav Ganguly in an advisory role. He will be teaming up with Ricky Ponting off the field to ensure the young guns of Delhi can find their groove. Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has already mentioned how he will be opening this season and that is the correct move from the Indian opener as the best players of a team must face the maximum balls in this short format. Quinton de Kock will, in all likelihood, come out with Rohit. This could mean Suryakumar Yadav goes back into the middle order despite doing well last season as an opener.But from an Indian perspective, all eyes will be on Hardik Pandya as he makes his return from his latest injury layoff owing to a recurring back problem. He will be one of may all-rounders the home team has at their disposal. Pandya’s international teammate Jasprit Bumrah will also be in focus as a lot has been made of workload management of Indian pacers ahead of the World Cup. For Delhi, the IPL provides Shikhar Dhawan with the perfect opportunity to get back among the runs after his recent poor form for India. Dhawan is back in his hometown of Delhi but this match will be the homecoming of his opening partner, the young Prithvi Shaw, who plies his domestic trade for Mumbai. Shaw is a one among a band of young Indian batsmen who will be keen to make their mark for Delhi with the others being Rishabh Pant and captain Shreyas Iyer. The Wankhede pitch usually has good bounce and carry which means both Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult could be in business for Delhi. Probable XIsMI: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Jason Behrendorff, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Markande Delhi Daredevils has been rechristened to Delhi Capitals.Delhi Capitals InstagramDC: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Colin Ingram, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult Global TV listingsSubcontinentSubcontinentStar SportsStar SportsSubcontinentUKStar SportsStar GoldSubcontinentAustraliaStar SportsFox SportsSubcontinentSouth AfricaStar SportsSuperSportSubcontinentCanadaStar SportsWillow TVSubcontinentUSAStar SportsWillow TVSubcontinentCaribbeanStar SportsSportsMaxSubcontinentBangladeshStar SportsChannel 9SubcontinentNew ZealandStar SportsSky SportsSubcontinentAfghanistanStar SportsLemar TV CaribbeanSportsMaxlast_img read more

More trouble for Karnataka Congress as senior leader Ramalinga Reddy lashes out

first_img“I am a seven-time MLA but they are neglecting me. This is also the case for senior leaders like HK Patil, Roshan Baig and others,” read his tweet expressing anger over the unfair induction of new members by neglecting the seniors.In his tweet, Reddy said that neglecting the senior Congressmen in the government and the lack of organisational foresight of some ministers resulted in the humiliating defeat of the party. He said that the main reason for this poor performance is not listening to the advice of the party seniors and the performance of some ministers.He urged the Congress leadership to set things right. “In order to face the challenging days ahead, the party and the government must address the fact that seniors have been neglected. If the situation continues like this, it’ll be difficult for senior leaders to be in the party”, he said.Reddy further suggested that the ministers who failed to deliver in the Lok Sabha elections should be given an inferior rank in the party and the senior members should be given positions in the government. Ramalinga ReddyTwitter [Representational Image]The troubles of the Congress in Karnataka don’t seem to end after the party’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections. Even as the party top brass is fighting to keep the coalaition government alive, senior leader Ramalinga Reddy has revolted against the leadership, blaming them for the awful show in elections.Reddy wrote an open letter to the Congress party from his Twitter handle on Monday, giving his version of the events that led to the defeat of the Congress. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 25 out of 28 parliamentary seats in the state.A former minister in the Siddaramiah-led government, Reddy was not given a cabinet position in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. He expressed his disdain over the alliance leaders’ decision to go for a cabinet expansion to induct R Shankar and H Nagesh as part of a plan to keep the BJP at bay and help the government survive. last_img read more

I have learned hard work patience and perseverance bring you a long

first_imgJacqueline FernandezPR HandoutOne of the most influential celebrities of the Bollywood industry, Jacqueline Fernandez talks about the hard work that goes behind being a social influencer, her journey so far in her Bollywood career and lots more! The fitness enthusiast of the industry shared with her fans, the responsibilities that come along with this title.Talking about her journey in the Hindi film industry Jacqueline shares, “It has been such a life lesson and a blessing. I’m humbled. Going back to yesteryear to my early beginnings and where I am today, I’m so grateful to all the people involved in this journey of mine. Even though I’ve been a part of the film industry for a decade, I’ve never actually studied acting and it wasn’t something I could learn in a classroom. It has been quite a ride so far and has definitely shaped me into a stronger person. I’ve learned that hard work, patience and perseverance bring you a long way.”When you try different things, not all will turn out as expected and at that very moment, one should not give up. Jacqueline shares her mantra as she says, “I’d like to quote Winston Churchill: Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. I think one should sing, dance, laugh and never ever give up on that!”Digital space has no boundaries and at times, the people behind the screen pour love but are also, harsh enough to even criticize being faceless trolls on social media. Being a public figure, one is always more prone to reactions from the people which can be both good and bad where handling the trolls and criticism in a healthy way is a task and Jacquline has learned her own way through it as she shares, “Social media trolls are best to handle with a sense of humour and Film Critics, with an open mind to constructive criticism. I would rather not take up the daunting task of dealing with the allegations, controversies and offending anyone. I don’t take trolls or the people creating memes, seriously. Things can get misconstrued over social media. Certain things that we say or talk about are sensitive and we need to be very cautious.”To capture it all, the ‘positive growth influencer of the industry’, Jacqueline feels that there is a lot to do and it’s not easy to be a social influencer in this world. Her responsibilities are double and she has to contribute a lot to maintain a balance between everything as rightly it’s said, with great power comes great responsibility.The hardworking and dedicated actress has won her fans for being extremely committed towards her career and with her consistent success is known to be the “Jacq of Hearts”, by her fans as well as the industry peers, alike.Touted to be most influential and bankable, the actress is now venturing into the digital space with her most anticipated upcoming OTT, “Mrs Serial Killer” which will mark her debut on the digital platform. She is prepping a lot for her role and is giving her best to impress her fans. Thus, being her first OTT step, the fans have gone gaga over this and can’t wait to witness her in this new avatar.Owing to immense popularity amongst the masses and having several brand endorsements to her credit, Jacqueline Fernandez has emerged as one of the most influential actresses in addition to being the commercial front runner.The actress would be seen in her upcoming movie, Kick 2 and the actress will be sharing the screen space with Salman Khan once again. Directed as well as produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, Kick 2 will release on Christmas 2019.last_img read more