This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, July 16, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: Well, you’ve seen Maxim the magazine. Now get ready to see the Maxim name on everything from furniture to men’s hair products. The popular men’s magazine lending its name to a variety of products in a big licensing push, perhaps to push up some sagging numbers.
Joining me now with more on this, Andy Clerkson. He’s the general manager at Maxim magazine.
You know, Andy, I’m surprised to see that Maxim was pushing, knocking on Playboy’s (PLA) door in terms of circulation, only about 700,000 fewer issues last year. Yet your circulation growth has been slowing, as many new magazines do over time. Is that why you’re making this licensing push?
ANDY CLERKSON, GENERAL MANAGER, MAXIM: Not at all, actually. We’ve been looking at the licensing side for a few years now, and the reason for the licensing is that Maxim‘s really become a brand, a lifestyle brand way beyond just ink and paper.
The circulation success of Maxim really exploded in the first three years, and the slowdown on circulation is something that we’ve been kind of looking at seriously in terms of getting more profitability from the magazine. So, in fact, that has been due to pushed prices on subscriptions and so on.
KEENAN: Yet aren’t you worried about diluting the Maxim name? I mean I think about Richard Branson who was on a bit earlier in the program. He’s really maintained tight control over his Virgin name, even as he’s spread out. But by licensing to third parties, don’t you lose a lot of control?
CLERKSON: Well, that’s the danger, but you have to be very careful about who you license to and pick the correct partners. And, in fact, over the five years, we only actually had two real licensing deals. So I think we’ve been very cautious as to who we’ve partnered with.
KEENAN: What’s with the furniture deal? I mean what market are you trying to appeal to?
CLERKSON: Well, the market there is really to introduce Maxim to the home, ultimately in some kind of Maxim home, Maxim living.
KEENAN: If my husband came home and said he wanted a Maxim couch or something, I’d say are you crazy.
CLERKSON: Well, I think, for some reason, it’s obviously our demographic, you know. Our main reader is between the ages 18 and 34.
KEENAN: So for bachelor pads then?
CLERKSON: It’s going to be bachelor pads, absolutely.
KEENAN: OK. What kind of stuff are you going to have?
CLERKSON: Well, we’re looking at home-office furniture with Z-line. That’s going to be our first range. And then, also, we’ve been looking into everything from pillow cases and bed linens all the way through to bars, couches, grills. I mean you name it, we’re looking at it. It doesn’t mean we’re going to actually do it.
KEENAN: Pillow cases and bed linens also in that category of better for the bachelor pad...
CLERKSON: Absolutely. I think that may be the way it works at first.
KEENAN: OK. Good luck to you. Thanks for joining us.
Andy Clerkson. He’s the general manager at Maxim.
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