The Thought Leader Interview: Bob Carrigan

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Media pioneer Bob Carrigan, of IDG Communications and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, explains why new media is the most optimistic part of the economy.
by Art Kleiner

What is the Internet’s role in revitalizing economic growth? In some circles, it is considered a disruptive destroyer of value. In others, new media is seen as a specialized industry, with little relevance to other sectors. But to people like Bob Carrigan, CEO of IDG Communications (the publishing, media, and events division of the International Data Group), the Internet is now a major source of business innovation for every sector. Thanks to the continued growth of the marketing and media ecosystem — the confluence of broadband, social media, online advertising, mobile Internet, cloud computing, online lead generation, and e-commerce — we are all media companies now.

Carrigan is one of the leading proponents of change in this sector, both as a spokesperson on new media, and as a decision maker at IDG, putting into practice new ideas about online publication and marketing innovation. He began his career at IDG in publishing and sales in the 1980s, when the company was primarily known for its technology magazines (CIO, Computerworld, PCWorld, InfoWorld, Macworld, and GamePro were some of its main titles). During the early dot-com era, he moved to a popular music startup,; then moved to AOL, which purchased it; then moved back to IDG in 2005, taking a series of executive positions. By that time, IDG had begun to evolve into its current form, as a new media pioneer, producer of events and expositions (including the well-known Macworld expo, where Apple has announced new products over the years), innovator in mobile Internet publishing, and developer of new forms of advertising and lead generation. Carrigan has been chief executive of IDG Communications since 2008, with a particular focus on innovation.

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