You are holding in your hands the last print edition of American Agent & Broker magazine. After 85 years, our brand--which has withstood the Great Depression, a world war, techtonic shifts in the insurance market and quantum leaps of technological and cultural change--is headed to the print publication graveyard.
But as the headline states, we're not dead. We are moving to the pages of National Underwriter Property & Casualty and everything must go--into those pages.
We've conducted enough demographic surveys to know that most of our 40,000 agent readers still want their content on paper, even as Summit Professional Networks delivers more quality content to the web. We've also rediscovered the power of more than 100 years of the formidable National Underwriter brand--something I believe we should have recognized in the scramble to transition to the web. Still, better late than never, and I'm proud and happy that our agency-focused content will now share the mighty National Underwriter brand.
Although I'm glad that the soul of AA&B will remain intact, I am a little sorry about the demise of its corporeal body. When I took over as editor of AA&B from George Williams--who had held that position for almost 30 years--in March 2008, none of us had a clue about the nutty roller-coaster ride that lay ahead. In short order we survived an economic crash, a lingering recession, the ascendency of Internet 2.0, major shifts in the insurance market, the birth and growth of social media and the devolution of Miley Cyrus. It's been a crazy run, that's for sure.
But like those intrepid valedictorians at graduations everywhere, I come not to bury AA&B, but to praise it--and to assure everyone who finds value in this publication that we will continue to live up to our tagline, "Your source for agency success," for as long as you want us around.
In the January pages of NUP, you'll find old friends like Barry Zalma, Chris Amrhein, Rick Gilman and all the others--and you'll continue to meet our industry's young movers and shakers who will run this business with vision and enthusiasm long after we're gone.
So don't throw out this December 2013 issue of American Agent & Broker. It could be worth a fortune on eBay someday.
Hee-haw and happy holidays!
Laura Mazzuca Toops
Executive Managing Editor
National Underwriter Property & Casualty