Deals & Developments

By Lehmann-Haupt, Rachel | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, August 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

Deals & Developments


Lehmann-Haupt, Rachel, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management


Byline: Rachel Lehmann-Haupt

Adobe Nabs Hearst

Adobe finally scored a big customer that could give its InDesign layout/production system the cred it needs to unseat Quark, whose Xpress system dominates magazine production. Hearst is adopting the program across its magazines. Major commitments from Time Inc., Conde Nast, Gruner + Jahr and American Express may not be far behind.

Another feather in Adobe's cap: DeepBridge Content Solutions, the biggest Quark systems integrator in North America whose clientele is a Who's Who of major magazine publishers, has decided to start selling InDesign.

Why the sudden momentum? The latest version of InDesign has gotten rave technical reviews, design schools have added it to the curriculum, publishing companies are again investing in tech upgrades and Quark has developed a rep for missing delivery dates on new releases and for less-than-stellar customer relations.

Ellen Payne, Hearst's director of editorial operations, says InDesign is being adopted as part of a bigger workflow change, which includes bringing prepress operations in-house to yield "significant savings" and give editors and designers more control over the product. Payne says that Hearst took its lead from ACP, the Australian publisher that licenses Hearst titles such as Cosmo. ACP has been Adobe's showcase account for two years. "We were very impressed," says Payne. And, even though Quark has recently addressed some of its most glaring omissions (like the inability to use Apple's latest operating system), she says, "In the past Quark has had issues."

Indeed, Adobe's best marketing advantage now may be Quark's reputation. As Deep Bridge Executive Vice President Tony Freeman points out, CIOs at major companies are used to dealing with vendors like IBM, that commit to release dates and (mostly) meet them. "What CIOs find is a little bit more predictability from Adobe," he says. Although Freeman won't discuss what his clients are up to, he say: Adobe's momentum is definitely building: "The next 60 days are going to be telling."

An Ugly Picture at SPD

The Society of Publication Designers has fired its longtime executive director and announced an investigation into irregularities (including the group's finances). In an e-mail sent to members, the board of directors said that Bride Whalen, who had been executive director for more than 20 years, had been dismissed and a search was on for her replacement. In the meantime, the directors said, an independent auditor is reviewing the organization's records. SPD runs a prestigious annual design competition and provides other programs for art directors and designers.

A Royal Deal

On Bastille Day, DeSilva & Phillips announced the sale of Press News, the Belgian publisher of Royals, Dynasty, Hors Serie and Ace magazines to Roularta Media Group (RMG), an international media company that publishes De Streekkrant, a group of 50 local free weekly newspapers and lifestyle and business magazines. …

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