A wise journalist once said that no one should serve as chief editor of a
national magazine for more than five years. The pressures of the job and the
constant need to spawn fresh ideas demand new blood. By that measure, I've
overstayed my time, since I've worked as chief editor and editorial director of
Design News for 10 years.
With this issue, I transfer the editorial responsibility of this magazine to Paul Teague. He was a stranger to me when his letter of application came over the transom in 1990. I'll never forget the opening of his letter. It was a single word drawn out to mimic a voice: "B-o-o-o-o-r--r-r-ing. That's how most technical trade magazines come across," wrote Paul, "with jumbles of confusing jargon and cumbersome detail. Not so with Design News. Your magazine is actually interesting."
Yes, I know the guy was buttering me up, but he had actually taken the time to read and analyze our magazine. And he had captured, even as an outsider, what we try to do every issue: Show lively, real-world examples of the best new technology that engineers use to design better products.
Ever since Paul joined the staff in 1990, it's been onward and upward for this veteran of newspapers and technical magazines. He started our Show Daily, produced during the National Design Engineering Show. He has pioneered many new story approaches, such as the "Design Challenge," in which companies produce "next generation" concepts for everything from catcher's masks to pocket pagers. And he has written a host of top-notch features, including one on a new Polaroid camera that won him the prestigious Jesse Neal Award.
It's truly a privilege to be chief editor of Design News. In my 27 years as a magazine editor, I've covered people in many walks of life, but it strikes me that no profession plays a more important role than do engineers. In this modern world, you are the ones who create the technologies that are vital to every aspect of our lives. You are, indeed, very special people.
Though I am leaving regular editorial duties, I am not leaving Design News. I will now serve as publisher of this magazine. In my new role, I will try to grow this publication, so that Paul Teague has more pages to fill with editorial about you and your work. Wish me luck, and wish Paul luck. It's been a great 10 years!