B2B at Medill


2015-16 McAllister Top Managers

For more than three decades, B2B CEOs have visited Medill to convey strategic directions in B2B to students in both the journalism and integrated marketing curricula.

Doug Manoni, CEO of Source Media, will serve as the 2016 McAllister Top Manager. During his visit, he will discuss top management techniques in B2B. Manoni previously lectured within the Advanced Executive Program run by the Media Management Center.

David Kieselstein, CEO of Penton, visited Medill in November 2015 as the McAllister Top Manager. He spoke with business, digital, magazine and integrated marketing communications classes, and met with faculty opinion leaders on directions Medill might take. Several alums occupy key positions at Penton, and we have subsequently bult bridges to the company.

Recent Top Managers have included Tom Kemp, CEO of Northstar Travel Media; Don Pazour, CEO of Access Intelligence; and Andy Weber, CEO of Farm Journal Media.

2015-16 McAllister Top Editors

For two decades, top B2B editors have visited Medill in this parallel program.

Kip McDaniel, editor in chief of Chief Investment Officer, served as the McAllister Top Editor in May 2016. He worked with Abe’s “Inside Business to Business Media” class on their consulting project and explicated his award-winning article “The Departed” within various magazine writing and editing classes. He also met with faculty and several of Medill’s McCormick Fellows.

The 2015 fellow was Glenn Coleman, former editor in chief of Crain’s New York Business, now executive editor of CBS MoneyWatch, who discussed the continuing evolution of that publication. Matthew Weinstock, asst. managing editor of Hospitals & Health Network, spent two days on campus in 2014, speaking with students and delivering a public presentation:  “Revamping a Business-to-Business Website: ‘It’s the Readers, Stupid.’”

Previous Top Editors have included Chandra Ram, editor of Plate and Marnette Falley, content director for Advanstar Communications Veterinary Group.

ABM-Medill Advanced Leadership Program

After many successful programs for fast-track B2B executives, the program has been brought fully into Medill and is being remodeled.

Abe in Motion

Abe’s next consulting stint will be another visit with MultiChannel Merchant, in Norwalk, CT, January 2016.


B2B is a vital part of journalism, media and IMC. Medill strives to be the leading media school for B2B communication across a variety of fronts – teaching, research and industry affiliations.


The Medill curriculum is fully cross-platform. Various professors are experts in topics ranging from business reporting to innovation.

Longtime faculty member Abe Peck is Medill’s director of business-to-business communication. Abe (a-peck@northwestern.edu) also teaches “Inside B2B Media,” in which students tackle “live” topics for B2B companies. Recent class projects include: suggesting improvements for a venerable B2B title; defending paid content for the Access Intelligence media group; branding for Farm Journal Media and a review of the aviationtoday.com portal. Similar projects take place within digital and magazine innovation classes, and across the Integrated Marketing (IMC) program. B2B guest lecturers appear frequently.

Executive Education

Connectiv-SIIA (formerly ABM / American Business Media) has an alliance with Northwestern. Medill Profs. Tom Collinger (integrated sales), Judy Franks (media transformation), Randy Hlavac (social media),  Candy Lee (innovation), Ed Malthouse and Rachel Mersey (audience), Abe Peck (cross-platform content) and Paul Wang (IMC) have taught in various co-sponsored executive programs. See http://www.abmassociation.com/assnfe/ev.asp?ID=269 and http://www.abmassociation.com/assnfe/ev.asp?ID=258

Industry Participation

Abe has done strategic content reviews for many B2B companies in the U.S., England and Asia. He is the only academic currently judging the final round of the Jesse Neal Awards, B2B’s “Oscars”; he also had judged the AZBEE awards of ASBPE, which represents B2B editors. Abe is on ASBPE’s ethics committee and received the organization’s lifetime achievement award. He is master series contributing editor for Travel Weekly, and has written for Crain’s B2B Media and other B2B titles.

Frank Anton, chairman of Hanley Wood, a leading information company in the building field, is guest-lecturing in Medill’s Washington program. He has been joined by Hanley Wood editor Jeff Lee, a Medill alum.

Research and Creative Activity

The Media Management Center has done pioneering work on media engagement, fueling Medill’s emphasis on audience understanding. http://www.mediamanagementcenter.org/research/http://www.hamptonpress.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=978-1-57273-986-4&Category_Code=

With ASBPE, faculty members Robert LeBailly and Abe Peck surveyed B2B content professionals about the digital media training they were (or weren’t) getting in this vital area. (http://www.slideshare.net/SGBmedia/2010-04-05-asbpe-medill-digital-skills-report). Peck delineated B2B research for the 2015 The Future of the Magazine Form: Research Perspectives and Prospects, edited by Prof. David Abrahamson (with Marcia Prior-Miller).

Professor Charles Whitaker (with Christopher Benson) has a chapter on B2B in Magazine Writing, from Routledge in 2014 (http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415892773/).

Jobs and Residencies

Each January, the Medill Career Fair welcomes B2B companies. For information on this event and general job recruitment, contact Career Services Director Jim O’Brien (j-obrien@northwestern.edu).

Scranton Gillette Communications, a growing B2B company, numbers eight Medill grads among its employees. See http://www.scrantongillette.com/content/career-tracks and tap the “Northwestern” tile to learn how it promotes this connection.

Medill undergraduates spend an academic quarter working at media outlets that include American Salon, Meatingplace.com and other B2B titles. Contact Karen Springen (k-springen@northwestern.edu) if you would like to participate.

Medill Integrated Marketing students work in individual and team residencies. Contact Jerry Chiaro (j-chiaro@northwestern.edu) for more information.


The cost of a top education is significant, and B2B leaders Roger Friedman (Lebhar Friedman), Ed Gillette (Scranton Gillette) and Jonathan Pellegrin (formerly Johnson Hill Press) provide financial support for top students.

Please join us in enriching B2B and training its future leaders.

Abe Peck, a-peck@northwestern.edu, 805-681-1102.