I’ve avoided this post for a couple of days, but I’m starting to get questions and comments. Also, it’s just one more company referenced in my resume that you won’t be able to find if you try. I’m also trying hard to overcome my personality where I try to analyze everything to death.

All of you who are Control Engineering subscribers received at least one email this week saying the magazine is closed. The Web site says the same thing. We’ve known that Reed Business Information was selling its magazine business for a couple of years. But closing is always a shock. I’ve worked for four companies that went through various methods of dying and wound up on the street. In one, I was actually president for a month while trying to put together investors, partners, bank relationships, employees, building, tools and equipment, etc. after the company I worked for as head of marketing and application engineering (and other stuff) announced a Chapter 7. You know–it’s very hard to put all that together under a stringent time pressure. I still remember the day when the angel investor (you gotta have at least one partner with a lot of money) didn’t get off the plane at Dayton International Airport (because he never got on). Poof. Now I’m an editor.

I say that to let you know I’ve been there and I’ll never gloat about that misfortune happening to others. I was a reader for several years before I became an editor there. I learned this trade at Cahners/Reed. Then I had the opportunity to go to Automation World which gave me a fresh start to try to improve on a good thing. From feedback I’ve had, it looks as though we’re succeeding.

It’s hard to say what will happen to Control Engineering in the end. Don’t know if someone will raise it back up or if it will die like the old I&CS, nee Control Solutions, several years ago. I know a lot of good people there, though, who will make good employees somewhere. I remind myself everyday how fortunate I am and never really feel secure in it. I’ve seen this too many times in my life.

I’ve got to answer one question that has come up in conversation–Automation World is still alive and well. I think this event is specific to one company. We are part of a small company that bleeds trade media, print and electronic. We’re just as passionate and dedicated as when they founded Packaging World and then invited me to come along and help start up Automation World. We’ve come through the recession alive and are looking forward to a good year.

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