I hardly know where to start . . . so I’ll start at the obvious, easy place. Dick Royer has retired. Dick Royer no longer owns this magazine. To my ear, those are two very peculiar sentences. They don’t seem right. They seem like saying the sky is green and the grass is blue. And yet they are true. After very nearly 40 years, Dick decided it was time to let someone else take the helm. That someone else, I’m very happy to say, is John Stefancik—until now our associate publisher and advertising director and marketing director. Yes, a man with many hats, all of which he’ll continue to wear as our new owner and publisher.
But before I go into that, allow me a moment or two for a proper farewell to Dick, who, after all, is the only boss I’ve ever had here at CBM, now going on 18 years. Give me a moment to tell you what I’ve always told my peers and coworkers, and anyone else who asked: Dick Royer is the best boss I’ve ever had. Actually, I should say the best publisher I’ve ever had, because this is not about generic boss stuff. It’s not about 401k plans and water coolers and letting us wear jeans (he never did give in on that one, except on Fridays). No, it’s about running a magazine. It’s about church and state, about understanding that while this is a business, it’s a business that is only as strong as it is editorially credible. There’s a lot to like about Dick Royer—his kindness, his generosity, his sly sense of humor—but what I have always appreciated most is his ethical resolve. Never, not once in 18 years, has he asked me to include (or exclude) something in the editorial product for the sake of an advertiser or potential advertiser. Which means he believes, like me, that the reader comes first, and that everything else follows. Put another way, if you tell the readers something only to make an advertiser happy, they will not trust or like you, and if they do not trust or like you, they will not subscribe, and if they do not subscribe you have nothing to sell to the advertiser. Dick Royer understands that and has always conducted himself accordingly. And if you don’t find that remarkable you don’t know publishing, especially in the bloodbath that has been the last 10 years.
The really great news here is that our new publisher, John Stefancik, also believes that the reader comes first—and he has proven it over and over again in his 15 years at the magazine, most of it as advertising director. I know that I speak for everyone at the magazine that we simply could not have found a better new skipper than John Stefancik for the good ship CBM.
And, again confidently speaking for everyone at the magazine, I wish nothing but for the best for the incomparable Richard J. Royer in his future endeavors. Fair winds, Dick, and thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being the best boss ever. (By the way, I’m wearing jeans and it’s not Friday!)
Tim Sayles, Editor