Tag Archives: Dan Lagani

The End of the Digital Native

22 Apr

The End of the Digital Native

Spring 2013 marks a new moment in time; a time where even the most digitally savvy leaders recognize that technology alone can’t drive business strategy. To compete you need customer-centric product development; brand strategy; differentiated marketing and leadership capable of attracting, engaging and motivating the best and the brightest employees.


2013 – Engaging Consumers with Content & Technology

11 Jan


The News at Newsweek – Its Name Said it All

19 Oct

Yesterday’s announcement that Newsweek would cease publishing its print edition as of 2013 came as no surprise. (http://newsweek.tumblr.com/post/33830925419/memo-from-tina-brown-to-all-staff-re-newsweeks). Certainly the once influential brand faced the same print to digital  pressure that all traditional publishers are facing, but on an even more fundamental level Newsweek was felled by the fact that news long ago ceased to be a daily business – let alone a weekly one. 

Many traditional brands will succeed digitally. In fact, Reader’s Digest now sells more copies digitally than it does on print newsstands. (Disclosure: I was North American President of Reader’s Digest Parent Company until August 2012). The key is to ensure that your brand’s reason for being remains relevant regardless of distribution platform. That was something that Newsweek simply could not do – based on its name alone.

Digital Media Advertising – Art vs. Science

1 Oct

With increasing complexity comes the need for simplicity. Wonderful look at technology improvements and the “Art vs. Science” battle looming in digital media advertising



The Future of Business – Talent Matters

29 Sep

If you haven’t read this fascinating perspective on the recent NFL referee strike by University of Toronto Professor Roger Martin – do. It is a blueprint for what all businesses will continue to deal with to remain competitive in the years ahead:




Dan Lagani on Brand Building and Digital Transformation

27 Sep

Westchester Magazine Profile

A look at how the storied Reader’s Digest found new life online and through Kindle and iPad editions.


NY Times Profile on Leadership

2 Apr

NY Times Profife on Leadership

Dan Lagani Interview – “The Boss”

That Used to Be Us, Too…

30 Dec

Back in the spring of 2009, I wrote a column for minonline.com on why paid digital content had a bright future.

At the time, the general sentiment in media circles was that free or freemium, ad-supported models were the most sensible. I suggested that media brands that offered unique, differentiated experiences online coupled with frictionless, one-click payment systems could see meaningful growth. Amazon’s Kindle was already in the market, but the iPad was still a year away. Some 50 million tablets later, it’s hard to imagine just how much things have changed in such a relatively short period of time.

So it was with great irony that one night last week, I downloaded New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s latest book, That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). If you haven’t read it, it is worth every cent of the $12.99 download price. In classic Friedman fashion, he and his co-author, Michael Mandelbaum, make the big, game-changing ideas simple and compelling. While he is mostly speaking about the challenges facing America today, I was repeatedly struck by how comments like this—on how our country responded to the end of the Cold War—were entirely relevant to all businesses including media:

“We didn’t fully grasp what was happening, so we relaxed, underinvested, and lived in the moment just when we needed to study harder, save more, rebuild our infrastructure, and make our country more open and attractive to foreign talent.

It is very possible that in the year ahead, our country may go through another national election cycle with politics-as-usual. But in the media industry, business-as-usual is a thing of the past. Our “constituents” vote every day, often multiple times a day. Already, eBooks represent more than 50% of Amazon’s book sales and nearly 20% of major publisher sales come from e-formats.

Despite the early-on hand wringing change often brings—including the recent concern whether offering subscriptions via Apple would make sense for publishers—early evidence suggests that digital sales via Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble represent growth opportunities more than cannibalization. Perhaps equally as encouraging is the fact that the same well-established brands that seemed to be most vulnerable are actually positioned to do quite well because of their trusted connection with consumers. In fact, not only is my flagship brand Reader’s Digest currently the top-selling magazine on the Kindle, but total digital edition sales now exceed 25% of its monthly magazine newsstand sales.

Even as I write this, my first column on paid digital content seems so much farther in the past than just two years ago. The difference today is that the future is now. While there are still many changes to navigate in the months and years ahead, it’s clear that after some early blows, the media business continues to adapt, evolve and represent one of the great innovation engines in America today.

Dan Lagani is president, Reader’s Digest North America.

All In The Family

30 Dec

WSJ.COM – Lagani Brothers


WSJ.COM Profile

12 Jul