Letter-to-the-editor: Don’t Judge a Periodical by Its Cover

July 3, 2000
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I am a new subscriber and got my first issue yesterday. However, my newness is not really true. From 1952, The News was a weekly read for me. I was employed by Chrysler Airtemp and located in Washington, DC. A few years later, I became national merchandising manager and was located in Dayton, Ohio. My relationship with The News became more personal since I then was making choices for advertising.

In 1957, I was hired by Industrial Publishing in Cleveland and was appointed publishing director for what was then Commercial Refrigeration and A.C. While I continued my subscription with The News, I now was a competitor. My publishing life was short term since in 1959, ARW hired me as exec. vp of the association. My relationship with The News took on a new dimension, obviously. And it was a close relationship.

In late 1965, I left ARW and the industry for two years. And for the first time I no longer read The News. In 1967, Warren Farr Sr., president of Refrigeration Sales Corp., in Cleveland hired me, and once again The News became a weekly read. Elected president of RSC in 1974, I was number one to get The News each Monday. And when I retired in 1987 and moved to our home in Florida, my secretary made sure that after the RSC folks read it, The News was sent to me in a monthly package. She retired at the beginning of this year, and my package stopped.

Since then I would pull up your website, but it gave me a taste but no real impact. A few weeks back, I sent you an order to start my subscription. Yesterday my first issue arrived. My gosh I could not believe the changes in the entire product. At the age of 73, I do not take well to change. Just a habit of age. And my first tour through the pages upset me. It is NOT MY The News of old. But I went from front to back. The lineup of staff was unknown to me. Only the name Henderson was familiar — but not Taggart. I said to my wife Char, these are all strangers — think I will just cancel my subscription. “Sleep on it” was her wise advice.

I have just finished rereading from start to finish. The fresh new look is well done — the stories have the basics of old — but the readership is younger and need this type of input. The obituary told me that my old friend Bob Woodward had taken on a new position with his Maker.

I am now a student of the new generation in our industry Mark — and I intend to make The News one of my textbooks to learn. So when the bill for the subscription comes, it will be paid.

And maybe from time to time I will express an opinion on a subject and send it on to you.

Our wish for you and your staff is to have the fun and lasting relationships within our great industry that we old timers have enjoyed for many a year.

Thom Muir

Sun City Center, FL

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