The creative arm of the Wilen Group was founded almost 50 years ago as a custom publishing company catering to the burgeoning cable television industry. Wilen now specializes in creating direct marketing communications for a wide range of industries.
Richard Wilen starts a company called Seal Send Systems. Wilen and Bob Bemer (the founder of ASCII computer code) combine forces to produce the Honeywell Computer Journal.
Richard Wilen is introduced to his first cable television customer — Athena Communications (Gulf & Western).
Wilen produces the HBO® Guide, the first program guide to incorporate editorial content.
Wilen produces newspaper advertising, direct mailers and bill inserts for Teleprompter Corporation (Manhattan's first cable TV company).
Wilen Media opens for business on Long Island, NY.
John Sie (Founder of Encore TV Network) and Jerry Maglio (1st President of CTAM: Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing) approach Wilen with the idea of promoting both HBO® and SHOWTIME® to the same cable subscriber. Wilen publishes Premium Channels; including the first “Bundled” offer ever.
Wilen combines word processing and computer typesetting to create automated program guides.
Wilen develops program guides printed on the lightest weight paper manufactured. Premium Channels become the only publication in history to qualify for Periodical (Second Class) rates and to be inserted into a billing envelope.
Circulation for Wilen’s Premium Channels reaches 3 million. Wilen launches separate program guide including content for Playboy Channel, Disney Channel, Encore, Sports and Basic Cable.
Wilen publishes Pay-Per-View guides for both Request TV and Viewers Choice.
Wilen works with Richard Aurelio (Former Deputy Mayor of NYC) and Hugh Panero (Former CEO XM Radio) to publish PPV guides for 1 million homes in New York City.
Wilen begins a relationship with HBO®, becoming an authorized direct marketer to promote their boxing events on PPV; markets the legendary Tyson is Back! (Tyson vs. Douglas) fight.
After relying on outsourced resources and partnerships for production and fulfillment for almost 25 years, Wilen launches its first in-house pre-press business unit, a first step towards bringing production in-house.
Wilen breaks ground on its primary manufacturing facility in Deerfield Beach, Florida, installing web presses specifically geared for direct mail and insert production. Wilen’s first year alone brings significant success to the tune of 200 million pieces.
Wilen doubles-down on high-volume direct mail production, installing a second web press with complex inline finishing to produce unique direct mail formats engineered and patented by founder Richard Wilen.
Wilen relocates its agency to a larger office in Farmingdale, New York, and expands into new business verticals outside of the cable industry.
Wilen introduces full-service custom publishing services packaging creative, content management, editorial and printing.
Wilen begins in-house mailing services, including data processing/hygiene, addressing, on-site USPS verification and mail logistics management.
Wilen exceeds a production benchmark of 500 million pieces of direct mail within just ten years of opening its manufacturing arm.
A new building is constructed at Wilen’s press to accommodate higher volume output. Wilen creates W3, a centralized digital workflow tool to seamlessly manage complex versioning across campaigns.
Wilen installs a third web press equipped with inline inkjet heads re-engineered to lay down data driven content such as offers and personalization, eliminating black plate changes and consolidating mail streams for our clients. The potential to achieve significant production and postage costs through this technology is realized, and focus is shifted to Variable Data Printing.
Wilen betas Kodak’s new Prosper S-10 inkjet system, the first application of high-definition 600 DPI inkjet imaging on a web press. Wilen re-launches its manufacturing arm as Wilen Direct, with a specific focus on 1:1 direct mail marketing.
Wilen Media’s growing agency services are strengthened by the addition of several Madison Avenue veterans to the creative team, including Executive Creative Director Wayne Schombs. Direct marketing experts realize the targeting and segmentation opportunities afforded by Wilen Direct’s variable data printing capabilities.
Wilen launches WheresMyMail.com and successfully matches USPS exit scan data to clients call center reports, enabling marketers to gain real-time insight into the delivery and performance of their campaigns in one simple dashboard.
Wilen Media is re-launched as Wilen New York, a full service agency led by top Madison Avenue talent leading change in the industry.
Wilen Direct is recognized on the cover of Printing Impressions as a pioneer in the direct mail industry, coinciding with the installation of Kodak’s Prosper 5000XLi 4-color variable high-speed web press. New technology enables marketers limitless targeting flexibility and maximum postage discounts through the consolidation of mail streams.
Wilen Direct further expands its footprint to accommodate more equipment and inventory, translating to faster turn-around times and speed to market for our clients. Staff grows to over 300 team members. Wilen Direct is operating 24/7/364 supporting the direct mail marketing needs of our clients.
Wilen ushers in the next wave of direct mail marketing advancements with the installation of the Kodak Prosper 6000C and Kodak NexPress SX3900. Output quality and speeds of high-definition 4-color variable direct mail is unmatched.
Wilen’s on-going efforts to bring limitless direct mail targeting capabilities to new industries was a key area of focus in 2016. Advancements in technology and processes increased capacity and output speeds, while HIPAA compliance paved the way for new verticals to take advantage of these opportunities.
Wilen Direct, our cutting-edge manufacturing facility in Florida, continues to expand by adding a six-acre compound in order to house increased capacity and serve all of our clients’ direct marketing needs. This allows for more storage, and additional capacity for advanced logistics.
Wilen has relocated the agency to a more mobile and collaborative workspace. Our new space was designed specifically for a culture of seamless teamwork, with plenty of room for extra growth throughout the company. Conveniently located at 45 Melville Park Road, Melville, New York. We proudly go by 45 MPR—a city agency without the city commute.
Wilen embarks on the next phase of growth, officially announcing plans to forge ahead with national expansion to Las Vegas, Nevada. A state-of-the-art, high-volume, digital printing facility in this location means tremendous manufacturing economic advantages.
Wilen Vegas facility construction is completed. This expansion empowers our current and future clients to reach the entire country with large-run, 100% variable-printed tactics, at scale, within 1-2 days—faster than any other manufacturer.
The Wilen Group has now been in business for 50 years! As we celebrate this major milestone, we are proud to have remained not only relevant, but ahead of the curve. Unlike many agencies and printers that have struggled through acquisition, Wilen is designed to keep growing organically to ensure our clients’ success. Our New York, Florida and Las Vegas locations form a powerful combination that is built to continue yielding outstanding results.