Three Meredith Executives to Speak at the ACT 5 Experience…

act5_banner.png Two top Meredith executives will deliver keynote speeches at the Magazine Innovation Center’s ACT 5 Experience and a third top executive from Meredith will be on a panel during the third day of the Experience.

Meredith, through a grant, helped establish the Magazine Service Journalism program at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism in 1984. The program and its founder Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni are celebrating 30 years of magazine journalism at Ole Miss.

Dana Points, Editor-in-Chief of Parents and American Baby, and Content Director for the Meredith Parents Network will open the program on Thursday Oct. 9. Alysia Borsa, SVP/Chief Data Officer, Meredith Digital will appear later in the day on a panel discussion with Jim Elliott and other executives from the advertising/marketing industry. Tom Witschi, EVP and President, Women’s Lifestyle Group, Meredith Corporation will deliver the keynote address that will end the day.

To register for the ACT 5 Experience click here
and to see the complete agenda click here.

Tom Witschi
Picture 6 Tom Witschi is EVP and President of the Women’s Lifestyle Group at Meredith Corporation. In this role he oversees Meredith Corp.’s home, lifestyle and food-related businesses for key titles including MORE, Fitness, Every Day with Rachael Ray, EatingWell, and Allrecipes magazines. He is also responsible for the P&L of the businesses across multiple platforms including print, digital, content licensing and custom publishing.

Previously, Witschi was CEO of the EatingWell Media Group, which was acquired by Meredith Corporation in June 2011. During his tenure at EatingWell, which he joined in late 2005, Witschi transformed the business, tripling revenue and creating strong growth and profitability. He helped lead the significant diversification of the brand from a flagship bimonthly magazine (which now reaches more than 3 million readers) to multiple platforms, including a robust website (which garners close to 4 million unique users a month), content and brand licensing, custom publishing, and consumer cookbooks and health books. The EatingWell brand is now a leading source of science-based nutrition advice; delicious, easy and healthy recipes; and useful shopping information.

Witschi also oversees Meredith Content Licensing (MCL), which provides strategic content distribution sales and service for existing intellectual property assets created by the National Media Group. MCL works with over 80 companies in multiple business sectors including healthcare, supermarket retail, media and CPG.

Before joining EatingWell, Witschi served as VP, New Business Development and International for Golf Digest Companies where he oversaw the group’s non-magazine assets including web, books, international licensing, golf schools, and retail catalogues.

Previously, Witschi was Vice President/International Publisher at Reader’s Digest Association (RDA), where he oversaw 46 editions of the flagship magazine outside of the U.S. Publisher. Prior to that, he served as Publisher of The Family Handyman, at RDA.

From 1991 to 1994, Witschi served as Publisher of the Photography Group then as Group Publisher of Consumer Electronics Group at Hachette Filipacchi Media. Earlier in his career, Witschi held various sales and sales management positions at Hachette/CBS Magazines.

Witschi was selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 Award in the New England.

A graduate of University of Vermont, Witschi resides in Darien, Connecticut with his wife and three children.

Alysia Borsa

Picture 7 Alysia Borsa is the Senior Vice President/Chief Data Officer of Mobile and Data Products at Meredith Digital, where she has successfully led Meredith’s data, tablet and mobile strategy, in addition to overseeing data infrastructure, business intelligence, analytics, data science and operations for Meredith Digital. Borsa joined Meredith Digital in 2011 in a new role responsible for setting strategic direction and execution of key initiatives that differentiate and fully leverage the company’s broad assets in the mobile and consumer data marketplace.

Prior to joining Meredith, she held leadership roles with a range of technology and media companies including Nokia and Comcast, among others. In addition, her background features working as a consultant for a variety of technology and media companies to provide them with strategic planning and insights around product development and consumer engagement.

Her experience also includes innovating mobile and digital products, with responsibilities covering strategic planning, partner relationships, data and analytics, marketing, and product development.

Borsa is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University where she earned a Bachelor of Business degree. She also earned an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Borsa resides in Manhattan with her family and is based in Meredith’s offices in New York City.

Dana Points
Picture 8 Dana Points is the Editor-in-Chief of Parents and American Baby, and the Content Director for the Meredith Corporation’s Parents Network brands, which include Family Fun, Parents Latina, Ser Padres and Siempre Mujer.

Dana joined Meredith in 2008 and, under her guidance, Parents has won more than 40 awards recognizing its excellence for editorial and design, including a National Magazine Award nomination, and debuted its first monthly digital issue in April 2011.

Before joining Parents as Editor-in-Chief, Points worked as an editor specializing in women’s health and well-being for more than 15 years. She was named Executive Editor of Self in August 1999. At Self, she also edited the food magazine Self Dishes, as well as the magazine’s book 15 Minutes to Your Best Self.

Points has also been Executive Editor of American Health for Women, a Reader’s Digest publication, and has held editorial positions with Mademoiselle and Family Circle. She is a member of the board of trustees of the March of Dimes and serves on the board of Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization working to prevent unintentional childhood injuries. Points has appeared on “Today” and “Good Morning America”, as well as on CNN. She was chosen as one of MIN’s 21 Most Intriguing People of 2010.

A graduate of Barnard College, Points lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Vanessa Bush, Editor in Chief of ESSENCE Magazine, to Deliver Keynote Address, ACT 5 Experience, Wed. Morning Oct. 8

Vanessa Bush.jpg Vanessa Bush is editor in chief of ESSENCE magazine. In this role, Bush serves as the brand’s editorial leader and oversees the magazine’s content and vision.

Bush first joined ESSENCE more than a decade ago as Beauty and Fashion Features Editor, where she directed all style and beauty sections. In 2003, she was named Lifestyle Director, responsible for coverage including food, home, parenting and technology. Additionally, Bush was a member of the editorial features team, writing and editing numerous impactful stories on subjects ranging from teen dating violence to childhood obesity. In 2005, she was named Executive Editor, managing the editorial team to implement the brand’s creative vision, as well as overseeing staffing, systems, operations and the magazine’s operating budget.

Prior to joining ESSENCE, she served in a variety of editorial capacities at publications such as Life and Glamour.

An award-winning journalist and coauthor of the bestselling beauty and empowerment book, Tyra Banks Beauty Inside & Out, Bush has been a featured guest on several national television networks, including NBC’s TODAY Show; MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. and Melissa Harris Perry; CNN; HLN; HuffPost Live and more.

Bush received her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in English and American Literature from Harvard University, and her Master of Science in magazine concentration from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She sits on the board of ColorComm, a networking organization for women of color in communications. Her recent honors include recognition among The Grio 100 honorees for 2014, a distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and an American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) Award nomination for General Excellence in the Service and Lifestyle category.

Bush resides with her family in North Plainfield, New Jersey.

Check the entire agenda of the ACT 5 Experience here.

Michael Clinton to Keynote Opening Session of ACT 5 Experience…

Picture 26 Michael Clinton, president, marketing & publishing director, Hearst Magazines is set to be the opening keynote speaker at the Magazine Innovation Center’s ACT 5 Experience in Oxford, Mississippi. The Experience takes place Oct. 7 to 10 and includes the 30th anniversary celebration of the first ever magazine service journalism program in the United States of America.

Michael A. Clinton was named president, marketing and publishing director of Hearst Magazines in June 2010. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Hearst Corporation. Formerly, Clinton was the executive vice president, chief marketing officer and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, a position he had held since January 2001.

His responsibilities include overseeing the publishing side of Hearst titles: Car and Driver, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, ELLE, ELLE DECOR, Esquire, Food Network Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s BAZAAR, HGTV Magazine, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, O, The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Redbook, Road & Track, Seventeen, Town&Country, Woman’s Day and Veranda.

In addition, Clinton oversees all digital, iPad/tablet, corporate sales and marketing, brand development and advertiser e-commerce initiatives for Hearst Magazines.

Clinton joined Hearst in October 1997 as senior vice president, chief marketing officer, and added group publisher responsibility for five titles, including Esquire and House Beautiful, in 1998. Prior to his time at Hearst, Clinton was executive vice president of Condé Nast Publications, where he oversaw sales and marketing for the company’s 15 national titles, including Vogue, Vanity Fair and Architectural Digest.

Prior to that, as Condé Nast’s senior vice president of group sales and marketing, Clinton revamped the company’s multi-title sales and marketing organization, which accounted for 50 percent of its total revenue.

Clinton spent a total of 10 years at GQ magazine, including six years as publisher—at the time, the company’s youngest publisher. He delivered the three most profitable years in the magazine’s history up to that time, and oversaw the launch of GQ in the U.K. and Japan.

Before joining GQ as advertising manager, Clinton was at Fairchild Publications, in both editorial and ad management positions.

Clinton is the founder and president of the non-profit organization, Circle of Generosity. He has served as chairman of the board of the Volunteers of America, as well as on the boards of The Starlight Foundation and Lifetime Television Network. Clinton has led expeditions to Nepal, Patagonia, and to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Starlight. He also serves as a trustee for the International Center of Photography.

In addition, he is chairman of the MPA – Association of Magazine Media. The Pitt News, the campus newspaper of his alma mater, honored him by creating the Michael Clinton Award for Distinguished Service in Publishing, in his name.

Clinton is an avid traveler and photographer. He has held a number of gallery exhibitions. He is the author of six books, Wanderlust: 100 Countries, A Personal Journey, a collection of essays and photographs from all seven continents; Global Snaps; Global Faces; American Portraits from 100 Countries; Global Remains; and The Globetrotter Diaries (all published by Glitterati, Inc.).

Clinton graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in economics and political science from the University of Pittsburgh, and earned his M.B.A. from Pace University’s Lubin Graduate School of Business. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Pace University.

To register for the ACT 5 Experience click here

Magazine Innovation Center Presents: A Think and Do Experience. Meet the Speakers of the ACT 5 Experience

amplify_logo What has become an obligatory annual pilgrimage to the Magazine Innovation Center in Oxford, MS, the Amplify, Clarify and Testify (ACT) Experience, is the only think and do experience that puts the magazine and magazine media experts together with other industry experts from all over the world in addition to 25 to 30 magazine students (future industry leaders) from The University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media. The goal of the Experience is to generate executable ideas for the magazine and magazine media industries. Space is limited so the sooner you register, the better the chances that you will be able to join the ACT 5 Experience. Click here to register or get more information.

This year’s experience takes place Oct. 7-10 and features (as of today with many more to come) some of the biggest and brightest names in magazine and magazine media industry leaders. The confirmed speakers so far are (in alphabetical order):

Gil Brechtel
President, Magazine Information Network (MagNet)
Alysia Borsa
SVP, Data and Mobile, Meredith Corp.
Vanessa Bush
Editor in Chief, Essence magazine, Time Inc.
Craig Chapman
Producer, Real Food Real Kitchens
Michael Clinton
President, Marketing and Publishing Director of Hearst Magazines
Steve Davis
President, Kantar Media’s SRDS
James Elliott
President, The James G. Elliott Company
Robert Hanna
Co-Founder and SVP Sales, Burst Media
John Harrington
Publisher, The New Single Copy
Brian Hoffman
EVP/Chief Creative Officer, Hoffman Media
Dana Points
Content Director, Meredith Parents Network
John Puterbaugh
EVP & Chief Digital Officer, Nellymoser
Malcolm Netburn
Chairman, CDS Global
Bob Sacks
Founder, Precision Media
Lisa Scott
Executive Director, Periodical and Book Association of America
Greg Sullivan
Co-founder and CEO, AFAR Media
Espen Tollefsen
CEO, Interpress, Norway
Bryan Welch
Publisher & Editorial Director, Ogden Publications
Haines Wilkerson
Chief Creative Officer, Morris Media Network
Tom Witschi
EVP, Women’s Lifestyle Brands, Meredith Corp.

Click here to register.

Save the Date: ACT 5 Experience October 7 to 10, 2014…

The Future of Digital Starts With PRINT


Mark your calendars and save the dates for the next ACT (Amplify, Clarify and Testify) Experience. The theme of ACT 5 will be The Future of Digital Starts with PRINT.

Stay tuned for more info.

Questions: Please email Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni at


Screen shot 2013-09-04 at 9.44.28 PM

Change was, is and will continue to be the only constant in the magazine and magazine media world. However, change has evolved from the slow-moving, steam-powered train, to a nuclear-impelled, speed-possessed bullet.

The Magazine Innovation center at the University of Mississippi, which I founded in 2009, continues its series of Experiences, aptly named ACT (Amplify, Clarify and Testify) with the ACT 4 Experience themed: Don’t Let Digital Scare You – The Power of Print Integrated.

The Experience takes place in Oxford, Mississippi at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, starting the evening of November 5, 2013 and ending the night of November 7. The intimate, and highly interactive, gathering is limited to 25 speakers, 60 attendees and 20 students.

The event receives national and international attention and kudos. It also includes a tour of the Mississippi Delta, the B.B. King Museum and the Delta Blues Museum.

This year there will be four interactive panels focusing on: print and the future of the printed press; single copy sales in a digital age; the economic status of the magazine media business, in terms of revenue, mergers and acquisitions; and “let’s do launch,” featuring first hand experiences from publishers and editors of new magazine launches.

In addition, there will be few keynote speeches by leaders in the magazine media industry about the latest in integrating print with digital and contemporary tried-and-true practices of print and print-integrated.

Confirmed speakers as of today (in alphabetical order) for the ACT 4 Experience include:

•Jay Annis, Vice President, Trade Sales at The Taunton Press
•Gil Brechtel, President and CEO, MagNet
•Craig Chapman, Producer,Real Food Real Kitchens
•Laine Craft, Founder and Publisher, WHOA Magazine
•Daniel Dejan, National Print & Creative Specialist, Sappi Fine Paper
•Jim Elliott, CEO, The James G Elliott Company
•Gregg Hano, CEO at Mag+
•John Harrington, Editor of The New Single Copy
•Mikki K. Harris, Assistant Professor & Multimedia Journalist, Ole Miss
•Erik Hannema,Product Manager Creative Services, Sanoma, The Netherlands
•Vanessa Gregory, Freelance Journalist & Assistant Professor, Ole Miss
•Rich Jacobsen, President & CEO, Time Warner Retail Sales & Marketing
•Keith Kawasaki, Senior Director, iostudio
•Donna Kessler, President, Morris Media Network
•Carol Kicinski – Founder & Editor in Chief – Simply Gluten Free Magazine
•Thom Kicinski – CEO – Edgewater Park Media Inc.
•Ed Knudson, EVP, Sales and Marketing, Digimarc
•Donna Levine, Copy Chief, Garden & Gun magazine
•Bernie Mann, Publisher, Our State magazine
•Jordana Megonigal, Editor in Chief, Business Black Box
•Billy Morris, CEO, Morris Communications
•Maarten Lens-Fitzgerald, Layar
•Gary D. Parisher, President, Cheeriodicals
•Reed Phillips, CEO and Managing Partner, desilva+Phillips
•John Puterbaugh, CEO, Nellymoser: a Brown Printing Company
•Roy Reiman, Founder, Reiman Publications
•Lynn Rosen, Editorial Director, Publishing Executive
•Linda Ruth, President, Publishers Total Sales Services
•Bob Sacks,, President and Publisher
•Tony Silber, General Manager, Red7Media, Publisher of Folio
•Megan Smith, Founder & Editor, Cake & Whiskey magazine
•Lisa Scott, Executive Director, Periodical and Book Association of America
•Franska Stuy, Editor in Chief, Libelle, The Netherlands
•John Thames, Publisher/Editor in Chief, Covey Rise Magazine
•Kelly Waldrop, Assistant Publisher, Covey Rise Magazine
•Geoff Wasserman, CEO, ShowCase Marketing & Business Black Box
•Julie Wilson, Owner/Publisher, STORY magazine

Confirmed Sponsors (as of today) are (in alphabetical order):

•Brown Printing
•Delta Magazine
•Democrat Printing
•Freeport Press
•The James G. Elliot Company
•Morris Communications
•Publishers Press
•Sappi Fine Paper
•Shweiki Media

Remember, space is limited so “ACT” now.

Click here to register for the ACT 4 Experience…

Save the Date: ACT 4 Experience — November 5 – 7, 2013. Don’t Let Digital Scare You: The Power of PRINT Integrated!

The Magazine Innovation Center is proud to announce the dates for the Fourth ACT (amplify, clarify and testify) Experience at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media @The University of Mississippi. The event will start the evening of November 5 and end the night of November 7. ACT 4 Experience’s theme this year is Don’t Let Digital Scare You: The Power of PRINT Integrated!

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center promises that this year’s Experience is going to be the best yet. More information will be posted on this blog. Stay tuned and reserve the dates.

Never Underestimate the Power of Print in A Digital Age… The ACT 3 Experience Power Speakers

The agenda for the Magazine Innovation Center’s ACT (Amplify, Clarify and Testify) 3 is up and running. Check it out here and check the power speakers at this power experience here. The photo of Bob Dylan (circa 1963) reading The Broadside magazine (with Dylan being the cover subject) was taken by one of the ACT 3 power speakers legendary photographer and journalist Dick Waterman (who, by the way, also wrote that cover story for The Broadside). Assistant Professor Darren Sanefski from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media designed The ACT 3 Experience program cover design above.

Never Underestimate the Power of Print in a Digital Age: The ACT 3 Experience Oct. 23 – 25, 2012

Twenty Four leaders of the magazine media industry will converge on Oxford, MS to engage in a two and a half days experience regarding the power of print in a digital age.  The third ACT (Amplify, Clarify and Testify) Experience hosted by the Magazine Innovation Center (MIC) at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media will take place Oct. 23 – 25, 2012.  The gathering is the third “think and do” experience that takes place at MIC, the innovation center founded by Samir A. Husni (Mr. Magazine™” that is dedicated to “amplify the future of print in a digital age.”

Registration to the Experience is limited to 60 attendees and 20 students.  You can click here to register for the event.  Once 60 registrations are received the registration will be closed and no longer accepted.  So be the first to register if you want to take part of this triple M experience Magazines, Mississippi and Music.

Here is a list of the confirmed speakers so far (in alphabetical order):

Keith Bellows
VP and Editor in Chief
National Geographic TravelerJennifer C. Bergin
Vice President Marketing
Brown Printing Company

Rebecca Darwin
President & CEO
Garden & Gun magazine

Jim Elliott
The James G. Elliott Company

David Friend
Editor, Creative Development
Vanity Fair

Steve Grande
Vice President, Sales
Fry Communications, Inc.

Michael Gross
Owner & President
Paragon Media Inc.

John Harrington
Co-Publisher, The New Single Copy

Lisette Heemskerk
Publishing Director, Linda. magazine
Mood for Magazines, The Netherlands

Sid Holt
Executive Director
American Society of Magazine Editors

Carla Kalogeridis
Editorial Director
Association Media & Publishing

Kevin P. Keefe
Vice President-Editorial, Publisher
Kalmbach Publishing Co.

Mike Koedinger Founder and CEO
Maison Moderne – Independent Publishing and Media, Luxembourg

Dan Lagani
North America, Readers Digest Association, Inc.

Mike Obert
Managing Partner
Open Book

John Parke
COO, Democrat Printing & Lithographing Co.

Jeramy C. Pritchett
Co-Founder, Blindfold magazine

Roy Reiman
Founder, Reiman Publications
Co-Publisher, Our Iowa magazine

Michael Rooney
Chief Revenue Office
The Wall Street Journal

Bob Sacks
and Precision Media Group

Tony Silber
General Manager
Red 7 Media

Michael J. Simon
EV President, Sales
Publisher Press

Sanne Visser
Glossy Magazines, Sanoma Media
The Netherlands

Dick Waterman
Legendary Photographer and Journalist

For more information on the ACT 3 Experience click here and to be one of the 60 people to register click here.

Count Down to ACT 3… Never Underestimate the Power of Print in a Digital Age

The line up for the keynote speakers at the Magazine Innovation Center’s ACT 3 Experience is almost done.  In less than two weeks from now we will announce the name of the speakers and start the process of accepting registration for the Oct. 23 – 25, 2012 Experience.

The theme this year is Never Underestimate the Power of Print in a Digital Age and the list of the speakers will include folks from every print medium.

Stay tuned to the list of the keynote speakers and save the date for your annual Magazine, Music and Mississippi event.

Feel free to email me with any questions you may have at


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