Mike Hanley and Mike Wood

By Calvacca, Lorraine | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, April 15, 1999 | Go to article overview

Mike Hanley and Mike Wood


Calvacca, Lorraine, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management


They've set the standard for building a series of mutually complementary products in a highly focused market.

When Mike Hanley and Mike Wood first met in the early seventies, Wood jokes, "We hated each other." They were selling ads for competing architecture books. Hanley was subsequently recruited by the American Institute of Architects to revive the AIA Journal. "Mike took the challenge and called me, because as much as he hated me--as he tells it--he had to acknowledge that I had made life hard for him because I was a good salesman," says Wood! Together, they resurrected the association title, but eventually tired of the restrictive working environment. They negotiated a contract with the Institute to continue publishing the association title, and on January 1,1977, Hanley-Wood was born as a custom publisher.

In its 23-year history, Hanley-Wood has grown from a single-title custom publisher to a full-fledged franchise that dominates the residential construction and building trades. Since 1995,14W has had a growth spurt, stretching from a $25 million company with six print titles to a $100 million company with 25 print properties. The growth includes the purchase of Home Planners Inc., a publisher and marketer of stock home plans for consumers; a 65 percent stake in the Minneapolis-based Wells Group, a custom publishing operation that produces newsletters, books, Internet and intranet sites; the launch of eight Web sites; the purchase of consumer title Old House Journal; the launch of Residential Architect; and the acquisition of the Aberdeen Group, which publishes several trade titles and produces a trade show in the masonry and concrete markets. …

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