Rebecca Sterner’s Bio -

Rebecca Sterner’s Bio

Rebecca Sterner
Independent publishing consultant providing strategic planning and problem-solving for magazine publishers, and creative marketing services in magazine circulation.


1987-current Independent Publishing Consultant & Circulation Marketer

Clients include successful start-ups and established publications: American Girl, Good Sam Media & Events, Poetry, and others. Consult on finance, fulfillment, analysis, marketing and staff development.

From 1992-1994 was chosen by Lila Wallace Foundation and Council of Literary Magazines and Presses to consult with 11 non-profit literary magazines awarded marketing grants.

1995-1996 Interim President, Utne Reader/Lens Publishing

During owner’s sabbatical and during search for a new president, took over management of Utne Reader. Hired and built completely new management team, launched book publishing business, brought on-line service from huge loss to break-even, built incentive plan for all employees, implemented open-book and financial accountability policies, and transformed demoralized staff into effective, creative leaders. Completed tenure when new president was hired, and continued to consult with Utne Reader until it was sold to Ogden Publishing.

1986-1987 Account Executive/Publisher

In Webb’s Custom Publishing Division, prospected for new client publishers of sponsored magazines. When successful in selling new projects, acted as general manager on the titles. Launched Bridal Fair, a consumer magazine with a circulation of 150,000–75,000 on the newsstand. Sold advertising and managed the editor, production staff, and 4 independent ad sales reps. Also managed Kawasaki Good Times Magazine and Delta Dental Plan Magazine.

1983-1986 Circulation Manager, The Family Handyman

Managed a circulation of 1.2 million for Webb’s only paid circulation consumer magazine. Responsible for net revenues of over $6 million and expenses of approximately $3 million. Managed and trained a staff of 4, 3 of whom are successful circulation professionals. Was known for aggressive testing, and tight, accurate budgets. Worked closely with editor, production manager, ad manager and publisher to make overall publishing strategy successful. Responsible for modeling “what-if” scenarios and full publishing financials. Renewal rates, newsstand sales, direct mail response and profitability all improved dramatically during my tenure.

1981-1983 Circulation Promotion Manager, The Family Handyman

Wrote and produced direct mail, renewals, bills and all other promotions. Supervised outside agency for television tests. Analyzed all promotions for profitability. Purchased all printing and other promotion-related items. Handled sweepstakes and premium details. Assisted with budgets, publishers statements, audience research, and fulfillment.

Before 1980 Various publishing related positions

Held various positions related to publishing, including: staff writer for non-daily newspaper, advertising dispatcher for Grand Forks Herald, proof reader, production manager at ad agency specializing in bio-medical accounts, technical writer for large insurance company.


B.A. in English and Communications, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN

Master of Arts degree course work at Hamline University, St. Paul, MN

Continuing education on direct mail, postal issues, database marketing, on-line services, etc.


Frequent lecturer and workshop leader. Writer in trade newsletters.