Berner Named MPA Prez, CEO
MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, has named Mary G. Berner president and CEO, effective September 17, the industry organization announced Monday morning.
Berner, who previously served as president and CEO of the Reader’s Digest Association from 2007-2011, will fill the spot left by former MPA President and CEO Nina Link, who announced in June
that she would resign by the end of the year.
Berner will be expected to help guide the MPA through the continuing transition to digital platforms, which are both transforming and disrupting the consumer magazine business. She spearheaded digital initiatives at RDA, where she oversaw the launch of 83 Web sites and 31 mobile applications.
Before RDA, Berner held top
spots at a number of major media brands, including head of ad sales for TV Guide, vice president and publisher of Glamour, and president and CEO of Fairchild Publications.
Berner and the MPA have their work cut out for them. Total magazine ad pages declined 8.8% from 81,658 in the first half of 2011 to 74,476 in the first half of 2012, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, reversing an anemic recovery in 2010-2011. Indeed, the magazine business never returned to its pre-recession heights. Ad pages in the first half are down 37% from 118,061 in 2006, also per the PIB.
Newsstand sales, long viewed as an indicator of consumer interest and industry vitality, are also dropping sharply: Average single-copy sales tumbled 9.3% from 29,255,281 in the first half of 2011 to 26,525,718 in the first half of 2012, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Digital circulation and advertising revenues, while growing, remain a fairly small part of the overall business. One estimate placed digital revenues at just 5% of the total for consumer magazines in 2011.