Chuck Murray: The Great Voice of Design News

Like an unexpected end-of-an-era clang in the Design News world, Senior Editor Chuck Murray plans to hang up his laptop.

The strongest magazines and websites have an individual and distinctive voice. The New Yorker’s clever voice originated with founding editor Harold Ross, and it continues on today. Rolling Stone is known for its humor smarts that came from publisher and founder, Jann Wenner. If Design News offers a voice in the engineering community – and we believe it does – that voice lives in the writing of Senior Editor Chuck Murray. Chuck has chalked up more than three decades of compelling stories and editorial perspective for Design News.

Chuck Murray, Design News
Chuck Murray retires this month after more than 30 years of writing and editing and writing for Design News. 

Like many of the editors and writers who have penned for Design News, Chuck began life as an engineer. He brings the cool and probing analysis of an engineer to his coverage. Add to that the warm heart of a writer who has mastered language – in the case of Design News, the language of technology. While his beat focus has primarily been automotive, and electronics & test, his know-how spans all areas of Design News, from automation & control through materials and software.

Chuck sustained the difficult and sometimes magical balance required of a great technology writer. He’s been continually inquisitive, good spirited, able to keep vast amounts knowledge at his mental fingertips, and skeptical. Like all good reporters, he understood at the core of his laptop that skepticism – but not negativity – is an absolute requirement of editorial excellence.

Off to a Busy Retirement

Chuck will be sailing off from the Design News shores at the end of this week. He’ll he turn his focus of inquiry to his family, particularly the growing number or grandkids who eagerly wait for Chuck’s trips to Disney World.

Few editors can reap the praise of editorial boss after editorial boss. Here’s a sampling. “In more than three decades at Design News, Chuck made an incredible contribution to the electronics and design industries, especially automotive,” said Suzanne Deffree, brand director for Intelligent Systems & Design at Informa Markets and a former content director for Design News. “Chuck’s honest and thorough reporting supported engineers and influenced innovation.”

Deffree pointed to the quality of Chuck’s editorial work: “No hype, no siding, just reporting truth and sharing knowledge. That was the job and he did it well,” said Deffree. “Beyond the news desk, he’s one of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. He’s earned every friend and accolade received in life and so many more.”

A Reporter’s Reporter

One of the hallmarks of a strong editor and writer is the ability to track down sources and get the real goods on developments. A great editor should never rise above strong reportage. Just like Jimmy Olsen before him, Chuck could delve into a subject and eek out the truth. “Chuck is more than a writer who can handle any story you assign him,” said David Greenfield, director of content, Automation World and former Editor-in-Chief at Design News. “He’s a writer who’ll turn in an article that provides answers to questions you didn’t think to ask and angles you didn’t think existed.”

Another trademark for an exceptional editor is thoroughness. “Chuck always dug deep into his assignments, often turning up ideas for further articles. He didn’t just perform his job, he was genuinely interested in it,” said Greenfield. “In my time working with him he set a high bar for staff writers and editors that few others I have worked with have been able to meet.”

Always Exceeding Expectations

For all his attention to detail and exhaustive research, Chuck hasn’t been prickly or difficult. “Chuck was likely the easiest employee I ever managed. He knew what he had to do, and he did it, always exceeding expectations,” said Rich Nass, EVP at OpenSystems Media and former content director at Design News. “He’s very laid back and mild mannered. He obviously loves his work but loves his family more than anything.”

Chuck’s love of family was obvious to anyone who spent more than 10 minutes with him. “I can remember countless trips Chuck made to watch his kids compete, traveling literally thousands of miles on a weekend in his minivan with over 250,000 miles,” said Nass. “It’ll be the end of an era when Chuck retires, and while I’m sad to see him leave, he deserves a healthy and joyous retirement.”

The editorial and events staff at Design News warmly and heartily agrees! And Chuck will be sorely, sorely missed.

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