Advanstar enlists Deal to lead MedEc
Deal, who is credited with a 7% market share increase for Formulary and a 20% boost in advertising and product revenue over the past year, becomes publisher for Medical Economics. The previous publisher, Mike Graziani, left earlier in the year, and the position has been covered in the interim by Drug Topics publisher Joe Laborsky. Deal assumes responsibility for growing brand revenue through ads, online and custom projects, and reports to VP operations and primary care Laura Wagner. “He is an educator on market trends, a consultant for clients' needs and a collaborator with colleagues across the Advanstar platform,” Wagner said in a statement.
The venerable title, which launched in 1923 and which Advanstar acquired from Thomson in 2003 for $135 million, has seen better days, its fortunes waning with those of other big primary care journals. Ad pages were down 13% for the first half of 2007 over the same period in 2006, according to a PERQ/HCI report, and the journal ranked fourth among medical/surgical titles by advertising revenue.
With numbers like that, Deal has his work cut out for him. “His goal will be to build the Medical Economics platform beyond the journal advertising page,” said Steve Morris, EVP, Advanstar Life Science Group.
Deal said he's looking to advertising opportunities outside the pharma sector as well as projects to grow the brand. “Today, pages are tough all around,” said Deal. “We need to follow the money and try to grow the brand in other areas where we have not reached our full potential yet, including taking advantage of non-pharmaceutical revenue opportunities. The other area I'm excited about is projects. Even though we're a practice management book, that does not mean we can't play in the clinical arena and become a vehicle for live meetings, symposia, projects and online.”