Pride In Publishing

Emily Letterman, Features EditorI’ve had a lot of practice during the last couple of years with my elevator speech on what it means to be the publisher for Springfield Business Journal. I’m fortunate to have a great deal of variety in my job, so my speech varies a bit as well. However, I don’t get to take much credit for great content. That’s our editorial staff hard at work. Likewise, I can’t take much credit for those weekly print editions with growing page counts, or what we like to call “plop factor.” That’s evidence that the advertising staff is doing their job making sure we have the support we need to produce more pages.

Instead, my speech focuses on the three “Bs”: bills, boardroom and bathroom. I say it’s my job to support the staff and to do a lot of the office stuff that no one else really wants to do. Though, after this week, I’m rethinking the speech a bit.

Tuesday morning I sat in the audience as Editorial Director Eric Olson skillfully, thoughtfully and thoroughly conducted a live interview with local financial adviser Nadia Cavner. Olson had a huge job to do in order to showcase the portions of Cavner’s life and career that landed her a place on the list of SBJ’s 12 People You Need to Know. Cavner, too, deserves credit for coming to the table for this difficult interview.

Somehow, Olson managed a head-on approach to the full gamut of issues surrounding Cavner’s recent guilty plea – felony interstate stalking charges, her personal family relationships, her investment philosophies, her U.S. immigration at age 16, her future professional plans and the legal issues that may ultimately shape them.

I have to say, Cavner wasn’t the only one in the room that was feeling tense. The tension in the room was immense.  My anxiety actually started a couple weeks before. We received some phone calls and emails from readers who were looking forward to the interview and indicated they had a long list of questions they couldn’t wait to ask. An equal number commented the interview shouldn’t take place at all. It was difficult to predict what would happen when we brought together a live audience with some already formed opinions on both ends of the spectrum and a reluctant interviewee.

The bottom line is things were fine. As it turns out, we have a real pro in the office. It also would seem that the audience didn’t really want to ask the hard questions, myself included. What we really wanted was just to hear the answers. And, for the most part, Olson and Cavner came through for us.

I’m really proud to be a publisher this week. I’m also incredibly grateful. I’m feeling like I work in an office among 20 people that all stand willing and ready to step up, at one time or another, to do something that the other 19 of us don’t really want to do. And we can count on the fact that they will do it well.

Related link:

Cavner stays mum on felony case details

1 Response to “Pride In Publishing”

  1. 1 Dee Dee Jacobs May 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I missed this one but I have no doubt Eric did a superb job! Leave it to SBJ to get to the heart of a story.

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