Can an Open Source CRM Save Print Media?

Edwin Grosvenor is the President of American Heritage Publishing and Editor of its two magazines. He has had a long career in magazine publishing and web development, and is leading the effort to create an Open Source media membership system through the National Center for Independent Media.

Many small- and medium-sized magazines still derive critical revenue and readership from print subscriptions. But these are increasingly costly to process, fulfill, and renew. Over the next ten years there will be a major “die off” of trusted, long-established print publications if they don’t have systems to enable them to evolve to digital cost-effectively. We are leading a group of magazines including American Heritage, Texas Observer, and Washington Monthly to develop cooperatively the first Open Source media membership system to handle print subscriptions as well as web engagement, email newsletters, and promotion of potential donors and advertisers — all in one unified CRM system. The effort is being coordinated by the nonprofit National Center for Independent Media (, with initial funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.