Reflecting on My Time at Commercial Integrator
Editorial director Tom LeBlanc is leaving Commercial Integrator after nearly a decade. He shares memories of launching the new brand and working with a talented staff.Leave a Comment
I usually try to hide the fact that I’m a worrier. Now that I’ve decided to leave Commercial Integrator after almost nine years, however, I’m willing to let the cat out of the bag.
I was extremely worried in 2010 when former parent company EH Media decided to launch a print and online publication for the commercial integration market. The new publication, Commercial Integrator, would enter a crowded field of established trade publications.
What would be our unique point of view that would add new value for our prospective audience of commercial integration and consulting firm professionals?
Surely, they could find a more qualified and experienced editorial leader than me, right?
Meanwhile, who was going to help me write all this stuff while learning all we could about the commercial integration market?
Indeed, I worried every step of the way, but those biggest areas of concern seemed to resolve themselves.
We methodically, but quickly, established ourselves as a business publication for this technology market. CI carved out a niche by analyzing the business side of integration — featuring innovative company leaders on the covers of our monthly magazines and establishing an invaluable partnership with NSCA in a shared mission to improve the business strategies and profitability of integration firms.
Technology coverage — including product news and eye-opening project case studies — hasn’t taken a back seat despite our business focus.
Commercial Integrator Is a Team Effort
As for me being the editorial leader and wondering who would help me write the content, these concerns seemed to cancel themselves out. I hired Craig MacCormack, an experienced reporter who had covered, among other things, the architecture market.
A superb writer willing to dive in and learn as much as he could about the integration industry, Craig quickly established himself as a liaison for industry professionals that deserve a voice.
In short, Craig’s talent and diligent work made me look good. Managing editor Arlen Schweiger, who behind the scenes quality-controlled the magazine content, also made me look good.
So did multiple web editors, especially current senior web editor Adam Forziati, making CommercialIntegrator.com an important platform in the #AVTweeps community. Meanwhile, art director Katie Stockham created a look and feel for the magazine that I’m certain is critical to its success.
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Bright Future for Commercial Integrator
Looking back after nearly 10 years I’m proud of what we’ve built at Commercial Integrator. While I’ve decided to take a career opportunity outside of the industry, I’ll always be grateful to the integration market and the Commercial Integrator community.
While I’ve decided to take a career opportunity outside of the industry, I’ll always be grateful to the integration market and the Commercial Integrator community.
One thing I’m not worried about is Commercial Integrator itself, which I’m leaving in excellent hands.
Craig is being elevated to executive editor, a role in which he’ll continue to act as the voice of the integration community.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Blackwood from CI sister brand MyTechDecisions, who has worked closely with me to build synergy between the two brands, will be editorial director of Commercial Integrator.
I’m extremely confident that Jonathan will not just continue Commercial Integrator’s resonance in the integration community, but raise it to the next level as the brand celebrates its 10th year in 2020.
I’ve enjoyed my time at Commercial Integrator and MyTechDecisions. I’m appreciative of the opportunities given to me by EH Media, our new parent company Emerald Expositions, and especially my longtime supervisor Jason Knott.
It’s time for me to try something new, but I’ll continue to pay close attention to the integration community.
Thanks to our audience and everybody who helped me out along the way. Hit me up on LinkedIn.