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Tag: Thomson

The News in Retrospect

When I was much younger, I lived in Upstate NY and was vexed by a certain Gannet Newspaper whose news wasn’t particularly current. I always said that their motto should be “the news in retrospect”.

Now I do some writing in the form of this blog and am embarrassed to admit that my report on the recent Gilbane Conference in SanFrancisco would be covered by the same motto. Age makes us humbler with every passing year.

I was very pleased with the quality of presentations in this year’s Publishing Track. In his recent post, Thad McIlroy was much too modest in his depiction of his impressive Future of Publishing Website. The result of almost 10 years of hard work, the site is a fascinating compendium of past and current views of the future of publishing. It is impressive in its scope, organization, and innate wisdom. We were honored to have it released to the public at our conference.

Thad did his usual outstanding job in leading a panel that gave a crisp and concise view of what is possible today in the world of publishing automation. As publishers, Thomson and O’Reilly distinguished themselves with the processes they are using today and products that resulted from those processes. Their willingness to completely rethink their strategies and re-engineer their processes should prove an inspiration to other publishers.

As you can see from my previous post on We are Smarter than Me, I am very interested in activities at the intersection of communities and publishing entities. Our Panel with representatives of San Diego Union Tribune, MERLOT, and Leverage Software gave vivid examples and insights as to how communities can develop valuable new information or enhance traditional information products. Their talks further fueled my curiosity and thinking on this topic.

Bill Rosenblatt led a great Panel of representatives from Adobe, Mark Logic, Marcinko Enterprises, and Quark through an excellent discussion of how today’s technology can enable publishers to design and implement processes that support true cross media publishing. And then Bill shared the lessons that were learned in an innovative cross-media strategy project that he did with Consumer’s Union. He was joined by Randy Marcinko who cited several clear examples of how the proper processes support cross media publishing and By Chip Pettibone Safari U’s Vice President of Product Development who dazzled the audiance with some of Their new products and business models . Their Rough Cuts and Short Cuts product lines are particularly impressive!

Finally Thad’s posting speaks glowingly of the panel for the International Publishing panel. I concur!!
Thanks to all conference panelists and attendees!! Please send me any comments and critiques that would make the next conference more valuable to you.

Thomson to sell Thomson Learning Division

For several years Thomson Learning was my largest consulting customer, and while I have not worked closely with the group for several years, it would be inappropriate for me to analyse or comment. I just wish to note for the record, quoting directly and exclusively from Thomson’s own press release of October 25:

Thomson Announces Strategic Realignment of Operations; Company to Sell Education Businesses
Highly Focused Strategy On Electronic Solutions For Professionals Will Drive Growth And Enhance Shareholder Value

Strategic Realignment Highlights:

  • Thomson organizational realignment designed to focus on electronic workflow solutions strategy and drive operational efficiencies
  • Thomson to divest education assets: higher education, careers and library reference; corporate e-learning; and e-testing
  • Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer are appointed

Stamford, Conn. , 10/25/2006.  The Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC) today announced a realignment of operations to sharpen its strategic focus on providing electronic workflow solutions to business and professional markets and better position the company for future growth. As part of the realignment, which becomes effective January 1, 2007, Thomson intends to sell its Thomson Learning businesses, including those serving the higher education, careers, library reference, corporate e-learning and e-testing markets.

“These initiatives are part of the natural evolution of Thomson as we pursue our strategic vision,” said Richard J. Harrington, president and chief executive officer of Thomson. “The market has validated our strategy of providing workflow solutions to business and professional customers, and we will continue to build on our strengths, reframe our markets and exploit technological innovations.

“Thomson Learning is an excellent business, but it does not fit with our long-term strategic vision,” Mr. Harrington said. “After the sale of Thomson Learning, the vast majority of our sales will come from electronic products and services with recurring revenues that are currently growing at high rates. In addition, the sale will provide us with substantial resources to take advantage of opportunities to accelerate the development of our core businesses and explore adjacent markets that are consistent with our strategy.”

Thomson Learning Sale
“Thomson Learning has leading positions in higher education, global reference, e-testing and corporate training,” Mr. Harrington said. “This well-managed and profitable business consistently delivers above-market growth and is well positioned to pursue opportunities in the global markets it serves.”

Thomson expects the divestiture of the Thomson Learning businesses to encompass three independent sales processes, each on its own schedule.
(The press release continues with details of divestitutres and staff changes.)

And so it goes…How sad. Print is certainly becoming a dirty word!

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