only did most of our publications again demonstrate their leadership status
in the communities of interest they serve, but the division's financial
results also proved a highlight in 2000. "
President of Freedom Magazines, Inc.
Table of Contents
High Desert Hero
A Paradigm of Time
The Perfect Political Storm
A Bravo Performance
An Inside Job
The President & Chairman's Report
Board of Directors
Freedom's Family of Information & Entertainment Providers
2000 Annual Report Home
Freedom Communications, Inc.
From left: Angela Donald, Dale Stone and Stacey Rigney
It's a cliche, but Spencer Ewald, vice president and group publisher at Freedom Technology Media Group pays the highest tribute to Dale Stone and her crew in the production department in Malibu, Calif. "This department personifies the slogan, 'there is no ME in team,'" Ewald said. "Every month this crew works to the last minute to insure we produce a quality magazine and have the ability to maximize revenues by inserting ads just before press time. We are constantly asking for quotes on special projects and asking for fast turnaround times. They always complete their jobs on time and never complain."
Mission: To be the leading provider of information in the communities of interest we serve.
This was a banner year for Freedom Magazines, Inc. Not only did most of our publications again demonstrate their leadership status in the communities of interest they serve, but the division's financial results also proved a highlight in 2000. The cash-flow budget was not only achieved, but exceeded for the first time in the division's history. Year-over-year performance from continuing businesses was even stronger, with double-digit revenue and cash flow growth.
Meanwhile, the division raced ever closer to profitability, as the CRM Division of the Freedom Technology Media Group (FTMG), Latin Trade and Multimedia Healthcare (MMHC) all turned in positive cash flow performance. Only MMHC had been profitable the prior year. Indeed, FTMG and Latin Trade spearheaded the year's strong growth.
A key strategic move during 2000 was the integration of all interactive activities with the appropriate print products. This allowed most of our publications to serve customers better with a more complete portfolio of integrated media. Today's advertiser is searching for more than just a print solution. Advertisers need a partner that offers many ways to deliver a message. Our magazines are increasingly developing solutions to serve these customers with print, online and events, adopting a "one-stop-shopping" approach to the markets they serve.
One of the most successful of these integrated Web sites so far is DestinationCRM, which helps to support the CRM Division's print and events offerings. The group's magazines include CRM magazine, Field Force Automation (FFA) and Knowledge Management (KM). Spencer Ewald was recently appointed vice president of the CRM Division. Under his leadership, the division has catapulted to the top of its competitive set, with the emergence of CRM magazine as the fastest-growing publication in the category. Field Force Automation also established itself in just one year as a force with which to be reckoned, while Knowledge Management is paving the way in a new and exciting arena that promises to pay dividends in the future. The division also launched a very successful expo, called eCRM, in a partnership with Penton. The show was held jointly with Internet World in Los Angeles.
FTMG's SOHO Division, led by division Vice President Terry Carroll, had a rougher time in 2000. Hit hard by the overall lackluster performance in general interest high-tech advertising, Home Office Computing (HOC) stumbled. But Small Business Computing (SBC) capitalized on customer interest in the small- to medium-size market, which is expected to grow at double-digit rates over the next several years. Near year-end, the SOHO Division launched DestinationSOHO, the Web arm of HOC and SBC, following an agreement with SmallOffice.com that returned these Web sites to FTMG. They are now fully integrated with the SOHO Division's operation and should help to boost revenue in 2001. In addition, a conference and expo was also launched. In 2001, Home Office Computing will be repositioned and redesigned.
In the international arena, Latin Trade continued to strengthen its already formidable market position and had its first profitable year. Under Sabrina Crow's leadership, the company prepared for the future with the addition of publisher Tim Scerba and the launch of Latin Trade Mexico. Its website also was a popular part of the business, with 3.7 million page views per month.
On the healthcare front, MMHC, while profitable, had a challenging year versus budget. Gender Specific Medicine and Home Healthcare Consultant were hit especially hard, but the softness was felt across the entire company. At the same time, MMHC publications gained share in a down market, positioning them well for the future. A real plus for MMHC are its alliances with leading academic and professional associations.
In its fourth year, Mode continued to be the only fashion and beauty magazine targeted at full-figured women. The magazine also stayed on its strong revenue and operating-cash-flow growth path, performing very well against budget and prior year.
Freedom Magazines, Inc. (FMI) grew strongly in 2000 as revenue and cash flow from continuing businesses were substantially higher than the previous year. While revenue was slightly under budget for the division, it was 13 percent above last year. Cash-flow was 11 percent better than budget, and 52 percent ahead of last year. Every business unit finished the year on or ahead of budget, except MMHC, which did have an 11th-hour surge at year-end.
FTMG and Latin Trade were the headliners. FTMG beat its cash-flow budget by 8 percent and last year by 52 percent. Driving FTMG's growth was the CRM Division, which was ahead of the revenue budget by 10 percent, and over last year by 67 percent. Cash-flow was 134 percent above budget and 129 percent better than last year.
Operating cash-flow for Latin Trade was 120 percent above budget, and 118 percent ahead of last year. Revenue was 1 percent better than budget, and 17 percent over last year. Meanwhile, Mode met its cash-flow budget and beat last year by 26 percent. Revenue grew by 16 percent year over year and was ahead of budget by 3 percent. MMHC missed revenue and cash flow budgets and was also behind last year.
Our plan is to ride this overall momentum into 2001, but there are already ominous signs that we can expect some rough waters at the beginning of the new year as the economy softens.
- Colin Ungaro,
President of Freedom Magazines, Inc.