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Twenty 20 Years And Counting

8/28/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

This is the 20th Anniversary of TWICE, and though many here wanted to make a big deal about it, I, on the other hand, wasn't nearly as excited — thinking 20 years just isn't a very long time.

Well, after looking back at old bound issues of TWICE with pictures of me (in my black, red, blond, short, medium and long hair) standing next to industry friends who are either gone, or years older now, seeing products of yesteryear and the huge number of retailers who prospered and sadly don't exist any more, I've reevaluated my opinion and now realize the importance of looking back to look forward. Maybe 20 years is a long time after all — and a good reason to celebrate.

Most of you probably know TWICE is an acronym for This Week in Consumer Electronics — though personally for founder Richard Ekstract and me, it also stood for the second time around.

My career began at Audio Times in response to a classified ad placed by Richard Ekstract, a then young, brilliant entrepreneur who taught me publishing and a great love for the consumer electronics industry, and giving back to it.

As our organization grew, my job functions went from assistant/typesetter, production/ad sales, to ultimately becoming associate publisher of Consumer Electronics Monthly (CEM), the No. 1 consumer electronics trade publication in 1986.

Richard ultimately sold CEM, along with several of his other publications. When his non-compete clause was up, he decided to go after his dream of producing a weekly, well-written, easy-to-read, consumer electronics/video software news publication — one he was sure the industry would embrace. He recruited me from CEM to launch and head up the publication with him (hence TWICE) along with founding editor Bob Gerson.

Twenty years later, it appears Richard had a very good idea. Though TWICE doesn't cover video software any longer and has changed it's print frequency to biweekly from weekly, TWICE does provide news updates all day long on TWICE.com and daily in the TWICE E-News Daily. TWICE also produces the TWICE CES Daily — the official daily of CES.

TWICE today is the undisputed leader in the field by far, with over 74 percent advertising page market share from January through June 2006. Perhaps more importantly, the magazine enjoys the respect, trust and praise of so many in the industry. In fact, on a recent readership study, when retail responders where asked, “If you could read only one publication, which one would it be?” — 84 percent of you said TWICE. Thank you for your support — and for telling me when we meet, how valuable you consider TWICE to be. I still love hearing it and I agree with you completely.

To our advertisers, I honestly can't say enough. The TWICE staff thanks you, and I thank you for all your support and friendship throughout the years. There would be no TWICE without your advertising — and we greatly appreciate your business.

I've always felt an industry attracts certain personalities, and the consumer electronics industry has the best people of all. I am and always have been thankful for the opportunity to work in the most exciting industry on earth — with some of my very favorite people.

Last, but definitely not least, TWICE would be nothing without its extraordinary staff. A publication can only be as good as its editors — and TWICE has the best and most knowledgeable, with Steve Smith, editor in chief, at its helm, along with Greg Tarr, John Laposky, Amy Gilroy, Joe Palenchar, Alan Wolf, Doug Olenick, Lisa Johnston, Greg Scoblete and newly hired Colleen Bohen, as well as others that have gone before — including founding editor Bob Gerson.

I also want to thank Bruce Alpert, associate publisher, as well as Toni Ingenito, account executive; Pat Kennedy, production manager; Tiffany Ashitey, show manager/classifieds account executive; Robert Nathan, contracts coordinator; Rawle Moore, finance director; Lisa Harmes, circulation manager; and group publisher Larry Oliver.

It's truly been an honor working with all of you — and I look forward to many, many more years together in this spectacular industry of ours.

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