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Exclusive Q&A with Co-founder of ‘Forbes.com’: Greg Zorthian ’71

After starting his career in journalism at The Phillipian, media mogul Greg Zorthian ’71, currently managing direc- tor at a media consulting firm, has accumulated over 40 years of experience in the publish- ing industry. Previously the President of the Americas and Global Circulation Director for “The Financial Times” and a co-founder of “Forbes.com,” Zorthian visited campus this past Sunday as part of the in- augural BluePrint journalism conference.

How did Andover shape your professional career?

Andover taught me that you have to work hard and you have to stick with it. There are other people that are going to want to do the same thing – it’s a competitive world out there – so I learned some things that weren’t obvious to me at the time, but as I grew, I realized that there was a pattern there.

What specific memories from Andover do you have that still stand out to you?

I clearly enjoyed working on the paper, because I contin- ued to do it in college and af- terwards. It was a way to learn about myself. It was something I thought I wanted to do, and actually enjoy doing it. It was

my first try at journalism, and it was a great opportunity to do it. Andover was so great, even back then they gave you that opportunity.

In what aspects has Ando- ver changed since you were here as a student?

It’s gone co–ed. I think the students are so much more ma- ture, and so much brighter, and so much more motivated. The Andover I went to was fairly homogeneous – and now you have international and global students, and you learn a lot more.

What are some personal traits that have contributed to your success?

One of the things that has helped me succeed is I have great respect for the people I work with, both the people I work for and the people who work for me. The other thing IliketothinkisthatIhavea decent sense of humor, and I think that’s pretty important. If you are so self-important and don’t try to understand other people, then you are not going to succeed.

What is one challenge you’ve faced throughout your career, and how did you overcome it?

Impatience… I sometimes got bored easily and was ready for the next job. Being able to rethink a job that you’ve done for a while and refocus, figure out another aspect to another thing you could work on is something I’ve learned, but it took me some time. When I started out my career at Time Inc., it was a fast-moving busi- ness. You would have a new job every year, which also meant you never really learned any- thing nor did you have much impact on anything. But the first time in my life, when I was in a job for five years, that was an eye-opener because I found that I was accountable for decisions I had made. You learn to make more thought through decisions.

What advice would you give to Andover students who are interested in the media business?

At some point, you are going to have to decide whether you want to specialize in some- thing, in some aspect, and then can you be the best at it. This business is going to be harder and harder, but the people who are the best will succeed. If disruption and turmoil upsets you, this isn’t the business for you because that’s going to be a constant.

Oct 19, 2016