The Folio 40 - Folio magazine articles
Last year, and in 1996, we highlighted the major individual innovators-people who had made a difference, changed the industry or somehow advanced the business model. This year, we decided to identify 40 companies that are growing fast. Why? Several reasons. Because fast-growing companies by definition are fast-moving companies-companies that are on their way to the top, seizing opportunities and changing as the industry changes around them. Indeed, these companies are not just adapting to change, they are driving it. So the 2000 Folio: 40, no matter whether those on the list are acquiring, launching or building their existing businesses, represent some of the real trendsetters in magazine media.
Beyond that, we wanted to see what was-and is-driving growth in the magazine industry. Consolidation is a major factor. But so are launches-companies spinning new businesses off their established ones. The ad boom is a major factor for many of our designees. But so is growth in the online space. The superficial consensus is that magazine companies don't "get" online media. But try telling that to Consumers Union or IDG.
This list of the 40 fastest-growing companies is not definitive. There are, no doubt, other equally fast-growing magazine companies out there. It's a self-selected group (that is, companies filled out the entry forms) supplemented by targeted solicitation. So we publish this list aware that we missed a few companies. But that does not diminish its value-or the remarkable accomplishments of those named in the following pages.
How the Folio: 40 was selected The 2000 Folio: 40 is a ranking of magazine companies' aggregate revenue growth between 1997 and 1999. To be eligible, companies had to have been independent through the end of 1999, and to have derived a substantial portion of their revenues from magazines. Subsidiaries were not eligible, except in the case of United States-based operating units of overseas companies. Thus, for example, we measured VNU USA's magazine holdings as a combined unit instead of treating Bill Communications and BPI Communications as separate companies. We did, however, allow companies owned by investment funds, such as those operated by Veronis, Suhler & Associates, to enter as separate entities.
Magazines organized as distinct corporate entities, but still part of a larger parent, were not eligible. And growth was measured in overall revenue, not PIB or other figures that count only advertising.
Entry was open to all who fit these criteria, and was solicited in a 6,000-piece mailing in January. This process concluded in late February and was followed by selected phone solicitation.