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Bonnier Revs Up Magazine Licensing Efforts

Creates new chief brand development officer post

Sean Holzman | Chris Wellhausen

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Bonnier Corp., publisher of Popular Science and Parenting, has been buying up print in recent years, absorbing Time Inc.’s enthusiast magazines and smaller acquisitions like Working Mother Media and then-Hachette Filipacchi Media’s hobby titles. Now, it’s joining many of its print brethren in trying to wring more money out of its titles and overcome sluggish growth in print revenue.  

Along those lines, on Friday Bonnier announced that it has hired Sean Holzman as its first-ever chief brand development officer. In his new job, Holzman will look for ways to license the company’s various brands, and will report to CEO Terry Snow.

In an interview, Holzman said he saw the chance to create product certification programs using Bonnier’s brands like Popular Science and Parenting, similar to an initiative he led at Source Interlink Media, where he had a similar role until 2009. One of his legacies there was a Motor Trend certification program for used vehicles. Another idea he has is leveraging Bonnier’s Outdoor Life to develop camping products and apparel.

“The great thing about Bonnier is they have a portfolio of incredible brands and content that really have not been mined,” Holzman said.

Bonnier was one of the first publishers to actively create magazine editions for Apple’s iPad, and along those lines, Holzman also wants to explore creating video content for connected computers, TVs, and the like. “You’ll see a lot of effort with emerging devices,” he said.