The process of making a fuss about rolling over the calendar often produces a by-product: shock about how fast time passes. In the last twelve months I’m sure nearly everyone has had a conversation about the increasingly slippery nature of time. Milestones will do that to you, I guess.
I’ve reached a milestone of my own at RealScreen, and predictably, it puts me into an uncharacteristically sentimental disposition. Next issue the magazine will be helmed by Brendan Christie as he takes on the role of RealScreen’s Editor. As I pass those responsibilities into his capable hands – Brendan is the original hire, the preeminent right-hand man (in fact, one of few men at RealScreen) – I’ll be taking on a new role myself, one of Publisher. Diane Rankin, our Associate Publisher, is also moving into bigger shoes as she takes on a new position – General Manager, Conferences & Events, Entertainment Division for Brunico Communications. (She’ll need an extra-large business card.)
These changes require a big shift around here. There will be the usual commotion as responsibilities shift, and there’ll be some weird moments of ‘Who does that now?’, but when all is said and done we hope RealScreen will be the better for it.
Overall, our mandate hasn’t changed, and won’t. We’ve added to it, and in a lot of ways we’ve gotten better at fulfilling it, but we’ve always aimed to be the information source about the non-fiction industry, and to deliver that information with style and authority, whatever the medium. We’ve also, I’m happy to say, become an introduction service of sorts – creating opportunities, both in print and in person, for industry-types to exchange information, ideas and, of course, business cards. It has been an extraordinary 2 1/2 years for our team, and it has been fun. And funny. And rewarding, thanks to you and to the outstanding people with whom I work at Brunico.
My background experience lies exclusively in the ‘editorial’ camp, and I have much to learn in the coming months about how things work on the other side. (I’m a quick study, don’t worry.) Senior VP and Group Publisher, Shelley Middlebrook, has deftly guided the RealScreen brand up to now, and she has set the bar high. (And will continue to do so – I still report to her.) Also instrumental to our success has been VP/Executive Editor Mary Maddever, who has hauled my ass out of the fire on more than one occasion.
While I will desperately miss the ebb and flow of the editorial process – the gems that rise from story meeting chaos, the pride in a particularly strong issue, the chance to spout off every month about something that rankles me – I’m excited to take on something new. The editorial team, under Brendan’s direction, has never been as strong, and you can count on great things in these pages in the months to come. You will be impressed.
In the meantime, I look forward to wearing a new hat, and I hope you will be as generous with your feedback now as you have been in my previous endeavors. (As if I could stop you!)
Mary Ellen Armstrong
P.S. I hope to see you in February at the RealScreen Summit! (See, I’m at it already. . . )