One on One is a weekly feature offering excerpts of interviews conducted by The Evening Sun with newsworthy business leaders. Edwin Warfield 4th is publisher of The Daily Record, a six-day-a-week legal, business and real estate newspaper, and Warfield's, a regional business magazine that recently stepped up publication from every month to every two weeks.
Q. What is the strategy behind increasing the frequency of the publication during a time of recession when advertising is down for every major newspaper and magazine in the country?
A. The change in frequency opens up many potential revenue sources that are unavailable in the monthly format and creates new opportunities, flexibility and impact for advertisers. Our turnaround time for advertisers has been reduced from four weeks to four working days. The new Warfield's will accommodate a wide range of new advertisers. Our first issue includes a number of rate-sensitive bank advertisements. The monthly format did not deliver the timeliness. In addition to rate-sensitive bank advertising, residential Realtors will now be able to market their houses to our readership on a timely basis. Computer and continuing-education classes will also now find Warfield's an appropriate advertising vehicle. In addition, a new classified section will provide a value-oriented way to reach our readers on short notice . . . .
Q. Can Baltimore can support a slick bi-weekly publication? Do you see Warfield's role expanding beyond Baltimore?
A. Of course. Warfield's has always considered its coverage to be the entire state of Maryland.
Q. How much has Warfield's been affected by the recession and resulting cuts in advertising?
A. From the start, Warfield's has emphasized a diversified advertising base. For the first three years Warfield's carried primarily business-to-business advertising, including health care, commercial real estate, office equipment, computer retailers, and bank advertising. However, in the last two years we've further broadened our advertising base to include categories such as high-end retail. Warfield's sales for 1990 were 8 percent over 1989's. To a great extent, many of our advertisers are adhering to a philosophy that continuous advertising sustains market leadership; their feeling is in a recession, the best defense is a good offense.
Q. Why the change in the type of advertising? Was that something that you did purposely or was it the market that changed?
A. I think over time the agencies and some of the high-end retailers have realized that the demographic profile of our readership was appropriate for high-end retail and other categories.
Q. Since the magazine began in 1986, has it fulfilled your expectations? Has it met its goals for growth? Is it in the black? Who do you see as your main competition?
A. From 1986 through 1991, Warfield's witnessed double-digit sales growth each year. The first quarter of 1991 was a difficult advertising environment for all publications. The second quarter is showing some renewed strength and will be profitable. With our change in frequency, Warfield's expects growth for the balance of 1991. In terms of delivering a readership of 54,000 with an average household income of $127,000, whose readers have corporate influence as well as personal affluence, and a publication that has won numerous design and editorial awards and a reputation for a quality and responsible environment, Warfield's is a unique publication. However, if an advertiser wishes to dilute the demographics of his target audience. . . then all media must be considered competition. The regional version of the Wall Street Journal would be considered my strongest competitor as long as the advertiser does not mind the absence of local reporting and being printed on news print. As for my expectations, I go into the office everyday wanting the Daily Record and Warfield's to be better publications for our readers and advertisers. Last year, Warfield's won the General Excellence Award given out by the A.A.B.P.( Area Association of Business Publications), which represents all the regional business magazines. However, with Forbes and Fortune -- both are bi-weekly by the way -- as my editorial yardsticks, it has room for improvement in terms of analysis, perspective and concision.
Q. What kind of a difference will the use of Daily Record reporters for Warfield's stories make?
A. The Daily Record reporters will increase the depth and breadth of our covers [cover stories]. They have expertise in many areas, particularly law, finance, real estate, high-tech and others. Also, they're covering their beats and talking with their sources daily. That will help us to get on top of stories sooner and make Warfield's coverage more topical and timely. Having them as part of the team will allow us to respond more quickly.
Q. Will Warfield's stories be part of their regular assignments? Do you expect staffing to remain at current levels?