A Family Business: Newcom Celebrates 30 Years

Newcom Business Media is celebrating its 30th year in 2017, but its roots go all the way back to 1940. That’s when Al Glionna became publisher of Maclean Hunter’s Bus & Truck Transport (B&TT) magazine. Over the years, Al built B&TT into one of Maclean Hunter’s most successful properties. Al retired in 1967. Two years later in 1969, Al’s son, Jim Glionna, got a job at Wadham Publishing Co. as a salesman on Motor Truck – a direct competitor of the book Al once published. Jim rose rapidly through the ranks and in 1976, was offered a partnership in the firm. In 1987, three years after Wadham was sold to Southam Communications, Jim decided to go his own way, launching two new trucking magazines (Today’s Trucking and Truck & Trailer), which became the foundation of Newcom.

Unlike his father and grandfather, Joe Glionna’s path into publishing was more straightforward; he inherited the mantle in true family business style, from father to son. Reporting to his mom Pat Glionna (who was and remains Newcom’s director of circulation) at the age of five, Joe began working in the basement of the family home licking stamps and folding envelopes. Upon graduating from the University of Michigan in 2004, Joe started selling full-time for Newcom’s flagship publication Today’s Trucking. Two years later, he opened the Montreal office as a general manager to oversee Newcom’s Quebec properties, which included Transport Routier magazine and two trade shows.

In 2014, Southam’s entire Business Information Group (BIG) came up for sale. The resulting acquisition (a joint venture with Annex Business Media) added $20 million to Newcom’s revenue. Overnight, it became one of the largest B2B media companies in Canada. Despite the instant growth, Joe was committed to maintaining a close family-style relationship between employees and owners. Though the transition was difficult at times for the former BIG people – many of whom had worked there for 20+ years, in a highly structured, bureaucratic environment – the vast majority have adapted very well to Newcom’s less rigid and more personal management style.

“We are all on the same team now and happy to be a part of a thriving and forward-looking company,” says Joe.

Jim Glionna remains chairman of Newcom, while Joe looks to expand the company’s growth in other areas. In September 2017, Newcom’s first US venture – The North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV) – will debut at the World Georgia Congress Centre in Atlanta, GA. Exhibitors have bought over 350,000 sq. ft. of space at the already sold out show. Wherever the road leads, Newcom will remain loyal to the family legacy on which it was founded, and to its belief that customers (whether they be readers or advertisers) deserve the very best quality Newcom can deliver. Newcom currently produces magazines, websites and trade shows in six markets: automotive, dental, insurance, meetings & incentives, supply chain and trucking.

For more information, please visit www.newcom.ca.

This article originally appeared in Maclean’s October 2017 issue/Special Report: Profit 500 Canada’s Fastest-Growing Properties