3 lessons from a winning media company that takes no advertising

Love America’s Test Kitchen. Love public TV. As former publishers, we also find this idea really interesting:
“I don’t think it’s a question of print being dead. I think it’s a question of a publishing model that’s dead.”
Food for thought.

Gigaom

America’s Test Kitchen, with its two print magazines Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country, flies under the radar of people who don’t cook — but it’s an excellent (and rare) example of how a media company can survive and thrive in 2014.

One way America’s Test Kitchen, which launched with Cook’s Illustrated magazine in 1993*, has flourished by giving away very little content for free. In fact, it only bundled together access to its three subscription websites — AmericasTestKitchen.com, CooksIllustrated.com and CooksCountry.com — last year for $69.95 annually, and you still have to pay for the print magazines separately. Those print magazines have over 1.3 million subscribers; the websites had over 500,000 paying subscribers as of last year.

The Federalist has a lengthy interview with America’s Test Kitchen CEO Christopher Kimball. Foodies should read it in full, but there are great lessons about online media strategy too. Here are a few:

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