Ten years ago (Sept. 17, to be exact), a seismic event occurred at the JCK Publishing Group. That day, nearly 80 percent of the staff quit to form a competitive publication, leaving the remaining staffers stunned.
The reasons for their departure had to do with new corporate ownership of JCK magazine and The JCK Show, and the way responsibilities for each would be divided. Many talented folks left that day—some of whom I count among my friends in the industry—and far be it from me to pass judgment on the decisions they made.
I do know, however, that for those left behind, it was a truly challenging period. Rather than having the luxury of focusing on brainstorming and budgeting for the year ahead, they were faced with the need to restaff almost an entire magazine and keep a 128-year-old enterprise up and running.
They (and their corporate bosses) rose valiantly to the challenge. Entire teams were hired overnight. Soon, the group was fully staffed with new talent eager to rebuild.
Happily, nearly everyone who stayed that day is still a part of JCK, including editor-in-chief Hedda Schupak, group sales director Bill Furman, and senior editor William George Shuster. Also, many of the employees who joined immediately afterward—in both sales and editorial—are still part of our team.
It’s my honor to use this month’s letter to thank those who stayed and those who jumped aboard an unsure ship and helped sail it to success. In the 10 years since that day, JCK has thrived. We launched new publications—including JCK Luxury and JCKstyle, among others—and built a fledgling Web site into JCKonline.com, an outstanding expression of our brand in the 21st century. We’ve won many awards for journalistic excellence, including multiple gold and silver Eddie Awards, Richard T. Liddicoat Awards, and Jesse H. Neal Awards. Our editors have been honored frequently by industry associations, and members of our sales team also have been recognized by multiple industry associations.
In the three years that I’ve had the pleasure of being here, we’ve never stopped focusing on the quality of our product and have redesigned and reenergized all our publications. We humbly think the many editorial awards we’ve received, our strong paid circulation, and our healthy market share are the best reflections of the success of these efforts.
To all of you, warm thanks for your indispensable roles in keeping JCK “The Industry Authority” and for keeping alive a publication all of us newbies enjoy being a part of every day.