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Entrepreneur SEEN

Matt Fasang

January 30, 2015
Sales Director, Neighborhood SEEN

When Matt Fasang was recruited by Neighborhood SEEN’s publisher, Kevin Browett, he said he was happy to take the job because it was “like coming home again.” Fasang grew up in Birmingham. A Seaholm grad, he went on to Central Michigan University where he majored in broadcast and minored in journalism.

“My original goal was to be an anchorman,” Fasang says. “But after graduation, I got offered the chance to work in sales at the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak. The rest of my friends were working as waiters and ski-instructors. It was a good offer, and I took it.”

And he never looked back. He was quickly promoted to director of advertising and marketing and stayed 17 years before getting the opportunity to launch DBusiness magazine, where he was responsible for sales development and staff training as director of advertising for Hour Media. “From the start, the publication exceeded expectations and remains a very relevant product for the business community of Metro Detroit,” he says.

After Hour, Fasang had a brief stint at Time Inc. before returning to his first love, local print media, as sales manager for the custom publishing group of the Detroit Media Partnership, where he re-launched StyleLine magazine and its online edition.

Fasang lives in Troy with his wife, Mary. The couple has two children, Joe, 24, and Lauren, 22, both in college. They also have a 5-year-old French bulldog named Olive, who they dote upon. “She’s very spoiled. She has her own Coach jacket and a closet full of Halloween costumes. One year she dressed up as Marilyn Monroe,” he says. “She’s been a great light in our family.”

Professionally speaking, why did you want to join SEEN? I don’t see digital as a very visual medium. I love print niche magazines. Magazines are portable, tangible and visually appealing. I also wanted to be a part of a high-growth company that published a high-quality, affordable product that the community would enjoy reading and would benefit advertisers. That’s the kind of company that Renaissance Media [parent to SEEN] is. We have big plans to grow SEEN and expand it to more communities. It’s exciting to be a part of it.

How do you see the magazine industry evolving? It will continue to be strong as long as it provides inspiring content and creative marketing messages.

What do you like to do for fun? I love to garden and landscape. I also love going places with my kids, who are both graduating from college this May. We’ve been in Michigan our entire lives and are still finding new places to discover. I’m also a Parrothead. I’ve seen Jimmy Buffet in concert more than 100 times in eight states.

Any favorite places? My favorite restaurant, believe it or not, is Lafayette Coney Island in Downtown Detroit. In good weather, you can find me at DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston. I love music — rock, old-school — everything except rap. My wife and I like to vacation in Sanibel Island, Fla.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people. I was originally cast on the TV show Survivor, before everyone knew what it was. I saw an ad in TV Guide saying you could win $1 million and I sent in a videotape. I passed the video interview and had to go in for personality and medical competency tests and a pyschological exam, where it was discovered I had an acute allergy to bee stings, which disqualified me from the competition. I would have been on season two, which was set in Australia. My strategy would have been to fly below the radar. Every time I see the show, which I still never miss, I always think about what could have been. NS

— Interviewed by Jackie Headapohl

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