Opinion

A change in ownership,  but no big change in magazine

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Last month I published a brief message to readers about the change of ownership of Virginia Business. The transaction closed as our pages were going to press and there was only time for a brief mention.
Since then many of you have asked about the sale, wondering if other changes might be in store for the magazine.

First and foremost, let me assure you that Virginia Business is open for business!

But unlike many of our brethren in the business press, Virginia Business is now an independent publication.

In this weak economy, many companies have had to look at their assets and make adjustments based on strategic fit or the likelihood of a successful sale.

Virginia Business became the beneficiary of this process and has emerged as a private, independent and debt-free company.

Private companies have a right to their privacy and the details of this sale will remain undisclosed.

This is not to say, however, that Virginia Business is no longer under pressure to perform.  All business investments deserve a rate of return.  This is a basic principle of the capitalism that makes the U.S. economy great.

The only other changes that we anticipate are the kind we always have made in a continuous effort to improve each issue of the magazine.
Significantly, our staff remains the same.  We have a wealth of experience among our employees:

• Kevin Dick, our production manager, and Hunter Bendall, our Richmond sales manager, have been with the magazine since its launch in 1986.
• Susan Horton, our Norfolk sales manager, has been with the magazine since 1987 when the magazine acquired Tidewater Virginian, where she was general manager.
• Other members of our sales team include business development manager Lane Kelly, who has been with the magazine for more than five years, and account executive Jon Hargrove, who brings both print and online sales experience to the magazine.
• Our Editor Robert Powell and Managing Editor Paula Squires each have more that 20 years of experience in business journalism. Both worked for daily newspapers before coming to Virginia Business.
• Our special projects editor, Jessica Sabbath, was a political reporter for the Winchester Star before coming to Virginia Business nearly four years ago.
• Rounding out our editorial team is our designer/production coordinator, Adrienne Reaves-Taylor, whose efforts create the fresh look of each issue.
• Many subscribers know our circulation manager, Karen Chenault, as the friendly voice on the phone who works tirelessly to ensure that you receive each issue of the magazine. 

Supplementing this full-time staff are more than a dozen contributing, writers, photographers and illustrators whose work appears in the magazine on a regular basis.
Also unchanged are the values which guide our daily work.  At Virginia Business, we have high regard for the quality of our content and the integrity of our journalism.

This means drawing a bright line between editorial and advertising.  Our editorial coverage is not influenced by who advertises in the magazine.  Advertising-only sections are appropriately labeled.
That said, high-quality advertising is an important part of our content. Our sales team works hard to help companies achieve their marketing goals.

Also unchanged is our audience.  The magazine has a loyal readership of top decision makers in business and government throughout the state.

In early 2009, we commissioned an audience study by Mediamark Research & Intelligence, a magazine research firm of national reputation.  Among the findings: 54 percent of our subscribers hold C-suite (CEO, COO, CFO, etc.) positions. One in four is the president of his or her company, and one in 10 is either the chairman or CEO.  No one else reaches this executive audience like Virginia Business.

The best changes are those that create value.  Virginia Business’ change in ownership is good for the magazine and good for the staff, allowing us to go on serving you with high-quality, in-depth business journalism and great advertising content.

At Virginia Business, we care about your business.  If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to call. 


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