|David Baum bought newsletter Golf Odyssey in 2005.|
After graduating from Indiana University in 1986 with an accounting degree, David Baum talked his way into an entry-level job at Goldman Sachs ( GS). "Actually, I crawled my way in," Baum says. Seventeen years later, he left the firm after leading the company's mergers and acquisitions unit for the Americas. "Suffice it to say, the Street and the business have changed a lot since I've been there."
Baum combined his passions for golf and travel in 2005 when he bought the subscription-based newsletter Golf Odyssey. He started a free sister publication, Golf Vacation Insider one year later. The publications have 30,000 subscribers combined, he says. Why did you buy Golf Odyssey? Baum: I was just ready to do something else, personally and professionally. I'd been a longtime subscriber and always thought it was an excellent publication. I'd taken several trips based on its advice. And maybe inside me I had a bit of Victor Kiam (the entrepreneur famous for the Remington shaver ad, "I was so impressed, I bought the company"). You've had to make a transition to digital media. Baum: Our business was entirely a print-based newsletter. I realized quickly that we're going to need to make the transition to digital. In hindsight, maybe we should have done that more quickly. We're in the seventh inning of that transition. It's not hard to see the number of magazines folding, like Travel & Leisure Golf and Golf for Women, or the newspapers moving entirely online. We didn't want to abandon print, and we're not, but we're slowly building up our digital capabilities.