'CCJ' pauses at 100 to look back

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Commercial Carrier Journal, a Randall-Reilly brand, turned 100 last month. The magazine, originally titled Commercial Car Journal, was introduced by what would become Chilton Publications on March 15, 1911. “The first few years of the magazine were about proving the worth of the motor truck over a horse and buggy,” said CCJ Editor Jeff Crissey. Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based Randall-Reilly bought CCJ in 2000 from Cahners Business Information, which had acquired it through its purchase of Chilton in 1997. CCJ marked its 100th anniversary with a special issue last month. The centerpiece was “CCJ 100 Milestones,” a list of landmark occurrences in the history of trucking. The top three were: 1) the establishment of the Interstate Highway System in the early and mid-20th century; 2) Cummins' introduction of the diesel engine to the U.S. market in 1933; and 3) the Carter administration's deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980. On the business side, the anniversary edition was a blockbuster, with 164 pages plus the cover. CCJ spent most of its first century as a traditional trade magazine, amassing a controlled circulation of trucking fleet owners and selling marketers advertising pages to reach them. However, the brand wouldn't survive another year—let alone another century—if that were all it was doing today. “Where our readers are going is going to be so different than the first 100 years,” Crissey said. “Even in the past five years, so much has changed.” In addition to the print publication and its companion website, CCJ has added a number of ancillary products in recent years. Randall-Reilly hosts a CCJ Symposium twice a year, in the spring and the fall. “We bring about 300 trucking executives and sponsors to a nice resort location for 2½ days of speakers,” said Jeff Mason, Randall Reilly's senior VP-trucking. Randall-Reilly has also created Commercial Carrier University, which publishes educational books about the industry. “We're thinking more face-to-face, and we're doing more and more online,” Mason said.
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