Communications News Pioneers the Total Communications Concept.
When CN Publisher Bruce Howat founded Communications News back in October 1964, he was making a classic response to the old Henry J. Kaiser secret of success: "find a need and fill it".
While there had been telephone industry magazines and broadcast industry magazines for many years, in 1964 there was no publication which brought news about all forms of communications together in one package to serve the needs of the communications user, the communications system manager.
Looking back to the early 60's, Frank Burns confirms the need as he says: "As a novice communications manager at 3M I yearned for a publication to come along which would aid me in doing a better job and help me to stay abreast of the communications scene. Finally in 1964 it happened and my 3M associates and I looked forward to receiving each issue of Communications News and reading it from cover to cover. At last we had a publication which was covering the total communications waterfront."
"Total communications" means getting the right message to the right people at the right time . . . and in the most cost-effective way. And, from the start, the publishers of Communications News took the total communications concept to mean simply helping communications systems managers to do this. From the beginning our aim has been to present each month" all that is new and newsworthy in voice, and data communications".
Communications News has been "total communications" not only in concept but also in content, coverage, and circulation.
Every article, every item . . . even every cartoon . . . in every issue of Communications News is about some aspect of communications.
Every from of communications . . . telephoney, broadcast, cable television, facsimile, data transmission, two-way radio, satellite transmission, fiber optics . . . you name it . . . every form of communications is covered in CN's editorial content.
In circulation, too, Communications NEws has maintained total dedication to the total communications concept. to be a qualified recipient of CN, a person must indicate responsibility for the operation of a sophisticated communications system.
Evelyn Olschewski, Director of communications for Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, confirms the success of CN's total communications concept, saying: "Your publication pioneered reporting on the broad field of telecommunications and, through the years, has been a major source of news and education. Your contribution goes well beyond the communications industry in the help it has been to its readers in providing appropriate and cost-effective communications systems for their companies and institutions."
Al McCatty, Communications Manager for National Distillers, paid high tribute to Communications NEws when he said: "The most significant contribution Communications News has made to the science and art of communications has been to focus the attention of the business community on communications as a separate entity in the economic life of America. Communications is a constantly changing, dynamic field of activity where the state of the art is never static. New approaches, developments, ideas, products, services and terminals reported in Communications News keep the reader informed, and alert him to solutions for his own problems. This has brought about a change in attitude toward communications; a realization that the business community thrives on the exchange of information. Communications News has led the way the recognition of communications and communicators and their impact on the business community."
New publications open up for business in a variety of ways . . . most frequently using some existing mailing list as their base. CN did it "the hard way" . . . creating an entirely new list of 20,000 names. Early in 1964 CN researchers decided upon 28 areas of activity (later to become 30) in which there was need for sophisticated communications systems. Then they determined what companies or institutions should be reached in each category . . . including, for example, every telephone company every TV station, every CATV operation, every airline, every Class I railroad, every military base, and so on . . . and, in some area defining a "universe" such as police and fire departments in all cities over 25,000, hospitals with 300 or more beds, colleges with more than 2,000 enrollment, and so on. And then, thru directories, questionnaire and personal calls, the CN staff painstaking built this new list of communications systems managers name-by-name, finding the right person in each of the companies and institutions. Immediately upon publication, CN applied for Business Publication Audit of Circulation audit of its circulation and, since early 1965, has been audited by bpa.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men," wrote Shakespeare, "which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." A tide of dramatic, dynamic development was running in the total communications field in 1964 and the fact that Communications field in 1964 and the fact that Communications News took it at the flood, filling a real need, is attested by the phenomenal growth that has taken place during these two decades.
Five barometers measure the health and vitality of any business publication . . . advertising volume, editorial content, circulation growth, inquiry volume, and reader response.
Advertising growth is probably the best measure of a magazine's usefulness simply because advertising managers put their at the bottom of page 62 depicts the dramatic stairsteps of steady growth in advertising which have been achieved by Communications News during these 20 years.
A very important part of the "all that is new . . . in voice, video and data communications" has reached CN's readers thru the and data communications" has reached CN's readers thru the thousands of ads which have appeared on our pages. Our initial issue carried 18 pages of ads from theses 20 charter advertisers: Anaconda, Atlantic Research, Bohnsack, Cleveland Institute of Electronics, Dial Haven, General Machine Products, Hughey & Phillips, ITT, E. F. johnson, LaMarche, Lorain, Marcom, P.K. Neuses, North Electric, Puregas, S & G Manufacturing, Stahl Metal Products, Tapecoat, Transandcan, and Whitney Blake. This "20th Anniversary Issue" includes 250 pages of ads from 190 advertisers! And five of those 20 charter advertisers . . . Atlantic Research, Hughey & Phillip, ITT, Lorian and one P.K. Neuses . . . have ads in this September, 1984 issue!
Charts on page 64 attest the similar year-by-year growth in CN editorial content, CN circulation, and CN reader response, as measured by Reader Service cards received and total inquiries processed by our computerized inquiry service (first A.C. Nielsen and now our own Business Publicationss Computer Service in Duluth, Minnesota).
Reader response is also measured by the letters readers write to the publisher . . . and on page 130 of this special section we are printing just a few of the letters which indicate the special bond between CN and its readers.
When Communications News was founded in October, 1964 it was one of two publications (the other: Telephone Engineer & Managerment) published by Brookhill Publishing company. In 1968 Brookhill was acquired nby the New York-based publishing frim, Harcourt Brace & World (now Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) and CN now is proud to be one of the top HBJ Publications.
Indeed, CN is now one of the nation's top publications! Communications News is very proud to be cited in the "Folio 400" . . . an annual compilation of the leading magazines . . . the "top ten " being: TV Guide, Time, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, People, Sports Illustrated, National Enquirer, Family Circle Playboy and Good Housekeeping!
Any successful publication is a partnership between the publisher and his printer. During these two decades, Communications News has been extremely fortunate to be served by two exceptionally fine publication printers. And, as the communications industry has changed during these 20 years, so has the printing industry!
CN's historic October 1964 "first issue" was set in "hot metal" by The Wayside Press in Mendota, Illinois and printed "letter press" on sheet-fed Miehle presses at a speed of about 1,200 an hour.
In 1966, Communications News, still set by Linotype and printed sheet-fed letterpress, moved to The Johnson Printing Company in Pontiac, Illinois to take advantage of their high-speed (up to 8,000 sheets an hour!) Miller flat-bed presses. During the 14 years at The Johnson Press, Communications News gradually changed over from "hot metal" to "cold type" and from "letterpress" printing to "offset" printing . . . with advertisers finally shifting from heavy "type-high" engraved copper plates to mere film! But the offset printing, the top n quality, was still done the slow, sheet-fed way.
In April 1979 Communications News moved back to The Wayside Press which had become one of the most modern and highly respected web offset publication printing plants in the world. Then a part of Progressive graphics in Oregon, Illinois (and today known as Combined Communications Services with plants not only in Oregon and Mendota but also in Sanford, Florida and Columbia, Missouri), Wayside's four-color and six-color web offset press turned out eight-and 16-page forms of Communications News at speed up to 25,000 an hour!
Just as Communications News has been constant in concept, so it has been constant in another area: quality!
While many publications have shrunk their page size and gone to lighter weight, lower quality paper stock to attempt to cope with constantly increasing costs of paper and postage, Communications News has continued to use 50 pound white glossy Shoreweb as its basic paper for 20 years, with the outside "cover" forms using 60, 70, 80 and even 100 pound Shoreweb, depending on the size of the issue. Clean make-up, fine printing and top grade paper have been hallmarks of CN for two decades . . . a partnership with our printers which has paid off in quality for both our raders and our advertisers.
Speaking of our "partnership" with our printer, there are two people on our printer's payroll who could well be on ours because of the dedication they bring to the responsibility of seeing that each issue of Communicationss News is out "on time" and is as perfect as possible.
Our copy is computer set and our pages are made up by the very capable craftsmen of Progressive Graphics in Oregon, Illinois . . . 60 miles west of our offices in Geneva . . . and there Neal Justis handles the tough task of overseeing the setting of some 700 pages of copy each month and the putting together of 150 to 200 tabloid pages for each issue!
Complete okayed "forms" (groups of eight or sixteen pages) are sent from Oregon to Mendota, Illinois . . . about 50 miles away . . . where plates are made and printing is done by The wayside Press. And it is here that Angela Stremlav takes over to watch over each step of plate-making, printing and binding with a "quality control" that can best be described as "tender loving care". Wayside's presses run 24-hours a day in three shifts . . . plant at midnight or at 3 a.m. to oversee a particularly critical color match or solve some unexpected problem! So complete has been her dedication that, at a recent CN staff gathering, she was awarded CN's "Most Valuable Player" citation!
Speaking of four-color work . . . for which Communications News is regularly praised . . . our four-color front covers are done by Pro-Graphics in Sanford, Florida. And Progressive Graphics, The Wavside Press, and Pro-Graphics are all part of one company . . . our printer . . . Combined Communicationss Services.
The success of any publication rests on a three-legged stool, the "legs" of which are editorial, advertising, and circulation. CN's editorial philosophy has, since 1964, been one of "total Communications" and, on page 61, we present the six key editorial staffers who put that philosophy on paper each month.
CN's advertising staff is headed by Dorothy Derpack and Shauna Briggs (see picture, page 61) with the selling done by the nine stalwarts pictured at the top of this page.
a special word of praise is due CN's circulation people. In the early years Virginia Bunte was CN's circulation manager, personally typing each one of the 20,000 "Scriptomatic" IBM cards from which our mailing list was run each month. Today CN's nearly 50,000 names are "on computer" at the ultra-modern Business Publications Circulation Service computerized operation of our own HBJ Publications installation in Duluth, Minnesota. There, under the watchful eyes of vice President Joe Bilderbach and CN Circulation Manager Ed Newman, a large staff maintains the Communications News mailing list, a list audited every six months by BPA (Business Publications Audit).
A Shakespearean line which has always been an inspiration to CN staffers is: "There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune."
Looking to the future back in 1964, the publishers of CN saw tides of opportunity for communications and for communications managers. The pages which follow document how strong those tides have been during the 20 years of these "Two Dynamic Decades".
And today the tides of opportunity are running stronger than ever. With thanks to both our readers and our advertisers, the editors of CN proudly presents this "Two Dynamic Decades" special section . . . grateful for the acceptance accorded our efforts during our first 20 years and full of resolve to make CN even more valuable to communications managers during the years to come.
We are greatly encouraged in this resolve by comments like this one from Jim Sobezak, communications vice president of the highly regarded International Communications Association: "Telecommunications managers must choose today among the many publications available so as to optimize our time. Myself, and the overwhelming majority of telecommunications managers, choose Communications News."
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|Date:||Sep 1, 1984|
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