My friends and colleagues,
It’s a sad day for AV trade publishing with the news that publisher Hanley-Wood is shutting down PRO AV Magazine today. The news is abrupt and a total shock. As many of you know, I’ve written for PRO AV since 2003. Back then, it was called Presenting AV and my former EAW colleague Mark Mayfield was brought on to redesign and revitalize it. Mark also took a chance on a newbie writer (me) and gave me one of my first assignments as a freelance writer. I cut my teeth there. I learned how to talk to and to write for systems integrators and AV consultants. I’ve spoken to many of you reading this blog post right now because of my work there.
Through the years, Mark and his cadre of staff and freelance writers like me worked hard to present compelling, well-thought-out, well-written content. After Mark’s departure several years ago, Brad Grimes stepped into the role of editor and took the magazine to new heights. I remember that I was so nervous when Brad took over. I had expected him to clean house and get rid of anyone who had worked with Mark, but he didn’t. Instead, he treated the freelancers with respect and humility. He led his new crew by example. Brad, a trained journalist, always stuck to his ethics, never lost focus and always published a solid product. He is an invaluable guide and mentor to me.
So the news today feels like a kick to the face. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic, but that’s what I feel when I think of Brad being tossed out of his office with little notice. Hanley-Wood has no idea what it has done by shutting down PRO AV. The bean counters may be happy with their decision, but I can’t believe the amount of knowledge, experience and legacy that they are letting go. Maybe there is another way of seeing things but I don’t have the vision right now to do so. Hanley-Wood, I hope you’re happy because you’ve saddened, shocked and angered the rest of us.
Just two days ago I capped off an upcoming feature article for PRO AV about our industry standards. It wasn’t a fluff piece. It was a real world look at how we are and aren’t using them. And just this morning Brad and I were emailing about photography for this piece. Now it will never see the light of day. I mourn for what is lost and what will never be. I mourn for what Brad and his team could have achieved if given the chance.
Rest in peace, PRO AV Magazine. It was an honor to appear on your pages.