10 July 2013
'Stop talking about the death of print': Sacks
TORONTO—Media consultant Bo Sacks is tired of talking about the supposed death of print. That particular dialogue is unnecessary and typically comes from "disenfranchised publishers," he said.

The Virgina-based printing/publishing vet and president of the Precision Media Group spoke recently at the MagNet 2013 magazine industry conference in Toronto. He recounted his history, founding a New York metro weekly paper in the 70s and helping to start High Times Magazine. Over the years before launching his consulting firm he's worked as a publisher, editor, circulator, pressman and more.

Bo Sacks at MagNet 2013

Sacks urged business owners to concentrate on shifting their models to fully embrace both paper and digital, likening the changes in print publishing to shifts in the music industry. "Music is the same, but the substrate changed," he said.

Publishers will have to adopt new delivery methods, and by extension, printers will have to widen their scope into new capabilities and revenue streams, both of which are becoming more common among successful companies.

Sacks maintained that paper still has a future. "Paper was the third most critical human invention after the axe and the plough," he said. All technology, however, is transitional, and even paper will see its role shift as the future unfolds. "Is there a point to defending old turf? Can it even be done?" he asked.

New technology has a social disruptive factor and due to the quickening pace of innovation, "it's hard, but not impossible, to develop a business plan." Technology will date itself faster and faster, leaving those who are slow to adapt behind. "Your future business should replace your current business, before someone else replaces you," he said.
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