Job Description of an Associate Publisher


An associate publisher is someone who handles the majority of responsibilities for a publication. Associate publishers work in a wide array of industries, from newspapers to websites to consumer and trade magazines. Occasionally, associate publishers specialize in one area, such as editorial, advertising or circulation. Most of the time, they need to be well-versed in all aspects of the publication.


  • Associate publishers typically answer only to the publisher. Associate publishers are in charge of managers of the various departments and their staffs. They keep a close eye on employee productivity and morale and the company's bottom line. Some associate publishers play a hands-on role, performing editing duties and making sure the publication is reaching its targeted audience. Occasionally, they lead meetings to brief employees on the state of the publication, clarifying its mission and setting goals.


  • An associate publisher must possess strong written and verbal communication skills. He needs to feel comfortable delegating and be well-versed in all areas of the publication. He should be motivated, organized, a capable problem solver and an adept businessmen. He also needs a thorough understanding of finances, as well as the content being printed in the publication. Many associate publishers are expected to be authorities in the field that their publication is covering.


  • Associate publishers do not have to meet any set requirements. Most publications seek candidates who have had success running another department, or have been an editor, advertising sales manager or circulation manager of another publication. Others look for aspiring associate publishers with that type of experience along with a college degree, with an emphasis on courses in business, administration, communications and finance.


  • Jobs for associate publishers are expected to decline--or at best, shift--from 2008 to 2018, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS projects a 19 percent decrease in jobs related to the publishing industry, although no data is provided specific to associate publishers. The BLS cited production efficiencies, falling newspaper revenues and a trend toward using freelance workers as among the reasons for declining employment in the publishing industry.


  • Associate publishers earned a salary of $37,000 to more than $122,000 per year in February 2010, according to Much of those earnings were determined by the associate publisher's experience and industry in which he was employed.

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