David Pecker

David Pecker, BBA '72
Chairman, President, and CEO
American Media, Inc.

Thursday, March 26, 2009
NYC campus

[Spring 2009 EIR]  
David J. Pecker became Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Media, Inc. (AMI) in May 1999, when along with Evercore Partners, he purchased the company. Today, AMI is the leading publisher of celebrity and health & fitness magazines including Star, National Enquirer, Shape and Men's Fitness. The company's holdings also include Distribution Services Inc. (DSI), the leading supermarket in-store merchandiser.

Following 9/11 in October 2001, American Media became the first U.S. company to be targeted by bio- terrorists using anthrax, and one of its employees became the first casualty of this new kind of war. Despite being evacuated from its corporate headquarters, Mr. Pecker moved quickly to relocate the company's operations and all AMI titles were published on schedule.

In November of 2002, Mr. Pecker and Evercore acquired Weider Publications Inc., the leading publisher of health & fitness magazines, including category leader Shape and Men's Fitness. It was the latest acquisition in a 20-year career that has seen Mr. Pecker complete more than $3.6 billion in magazine transactions. In April 2003, Mr. Pecker participated in the $1.5 billion recapitalization of AMI led by Evercore and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

In April 2004, Mr. Pecker re-launched Star as a 100-page glossy, the first time a tabloid was ever successfully converted to magazine format.

From 2004 to the present, Mr. Pecker oversaw unprecedented growth in AMI's advertising, with paging for its titles up 10.2% over the five year period (including a 58% increase for Star) while industry totals declined 8.7% for the same period. During this time, Shape became the #1 title in the Women's Active Lifestyle Category, Men's Fitness was successfully re-launched, and digital platforms were developed for all the company's brands.

Prior to acquiring American Media, Inc., Mr. Pecker was President and Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 1992 and was named President of Hachette Magazines, Inc. in September 1991. Previously, since September 1990, Mr. Pecker had served as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Hachette Magazines, Inc., formerly Diamandis Communications Inc.

Mr. Pecker holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Pace University's Lubin School of Business. In May of 1998, the university awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science. Mr. Pecker is also a member of Pace University's Board of Trustees.

Photos and Highlights from Executive in Residence David Pecker, BBA '72
Chairman, President, and CEO, American Media, Inc.
Thursday, March 26, 2009

[David Pecker]
David Pecker posing with undergraduate students, who are holding some of AMI's top-selling magazines, after his afternoon lecture.

Mr. Pecker's advice for students:
  • "Never make your boss look bad."
  • "Never say 'no' — whatever needed to be done... I did it."
  • "Have a work/life balance, but business must be a priority."
[David Pecker]
“Dozens of independent research companies have now confirmed that magazines, when compared to TV or the Internet, are considered more trustworthy, initiate more social commentary, are a preferred leisure time activity, and provide greater inspiration for improving one's life than the other two mediums. At the same time, magazine readers are far more receptive to advertising than online visitors or TV viewers. That's a foundation you can build on to turn them into brands.”

[David Pecker]
“You start with a print property that has credibility with its readers. From there, you extend the brand into digital, signature events, broadcast, licensed products, and global editions. Putting all of these parts together, each one as critical a component as the next, insures that magazines when positioned as brands will have a bright future in the digital age. ”

[David Pecker]
“A magazine's Web site has to deliver content that connects to the reader without copying its print counterpart. ”

[David Pecker]
“I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Pace.”

[David Pecker]
David Pecker with Sherman Raskin, Director of the University's MS in Publishing program, and Allan Rabinowitz, Professor of Accounting. Mr. Pecker has supported Dyson's publishing program for over 20 years.