Hearst’s CEO Addresses Staffers

hearst-logoIf you woke up this morning and thought, “Man, the new year has been okay so far, but what I’d really like is to read a 1,700 word memo from Hearst Corp.’s CEO Steven Swartz,” you’re in luck. We have that exact thing for you!

We’ve already heard from Hearst Magazines‘ David Carey, and now Swartz has his chance. In his note Swartz addresses the successful year that was.

“Our major businesses, newspapers, magazines, broadcast television and business information all posted profit gains for calendar year 2014, and our cable networks were also up for their fiscal year, which ended September 30,” writes Swartz.

For a lot more, see below.

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks to your hard work and creativity I am able to report that your company has achieved record revenue and profit for the fourth straight year.

Our major businesses, newspapers, magazines, broadcast television and business information all posted profit gains for calendar year 2014, and our cable networks were also up for their fiscal year, which ended September 30.

The digital revolution that is transforming almost every aspect of life in many respects makes our job on the consumer side of our company harder. New platforms and new brands compete with us for people’s time and for advertising dollars.

But if 2014 teaches us one overarching lesson, it is that being the best at what one does still breaks through the clutter. And that, along with continuous innovation and diversification, hiring and holding onto the best people, supporting good causes in our communities, and maintaining our reputation, earned every day, as a great business partner, will carry us to greater gains ahead.

Being the best means Hearst Magazines standing alone in its industry in repeatedly launching successful new magazines like Food Network and HGTV with our partners at Scripps, and Dr. Oz THE GOOD LIFE, our latest exciting effort with Dr. Oz and his wife, Lisa. It’s Hearst Newspapers pioneering the effort to bring digital marketing support and services to the small businesses in the communities it serves while building stand-alone digital advertising agencies to service larger customers. It’s Hearst Television’s award-winning political coverage that earns our stations a leading share of support from viewers and advertisers in the communities we serve. It is ESPN.com’s position as the number one digital provider of sports information in this country based on page views, unique audience or time spent. It is the A+E television networks having more shows averaging one million or more viewers per night than any other group of cable networks. At each of these powerful cable TV franchises, as well as at 15 of our television stations, we are proud to be partners of The Walt Disney Company.

Our fastest growing division is our Business Media group, where the digital revolution, in addition to our own considerable efforts, is actually making these businesses stronger, as new digital tools make us better at gathering and analyzing data and better at delivering that data in a customized way to our clients. Our expansion in Business Media represents a hallmark of Hearst’s approach to business over the years: investing aggressively for faster growth in areas adjacent to an already successful business where over time we prove our expertise. We used our television station experiences to inform our push into cable TV in the early 1980s, reminiscent of how our founder used our newspaper publishing know-how to push into the faster growing magazine industry at the turn of the 20th century. In each case, the winning approach was to start slowly and invest more as our investment thesis proved correct. In the case of Business Media, our early efforts stemmed from magazines, namely when MOTOR, started as a consumer lifestyle magazine in 1903, morphed over the years into MOTOR Information Services, a leading database for car repair and car parts, and when, in 1980, a publication we owned at the time, American Druggist, acquired a database that we built into First Databank, the nation’s leading information source for hospitals and pharmacies on all sorts of drug dosing and drug interaction data.