While I am tickled pink about the possibilities that await me there, I must admit to having some seriously mixed feelings about leaving Creativity. I've been editor here since January '91, when I succeeded my friend Ann Cooper. Since then this magazine has changed considerably in its look and feel while remaining true to its mission: to recognize the best work being done in print and broadcast advertising. We like to think we've been somewhat successful in this quest, and we're encouraged by the positive feedback we get from readers. By all measures, we're on a steady climb-ad sales are up, paid circulation continues to grow and the amount of unsolicited and often top-rate work that arrives here every day has risen consistently (making our readers the fortunate beneficiaries of the addiction to self-promotion that drives so many creative people). We're at the point now where we feel we've got the best pulse on the creative community of any publication that covers the field.
Still, as always, there's room for improvement, and that's exactly what's going to be taking place here in the next few months. Under the guidance of newly named editor Rogier van Bakel (see page 10), Creativity is planning a series of changes that will see the introduction of new editorial departments and features, a fresh, new look to our design and layout and, most importantly, a new and broader approach to covering the advertising creative community
Strange time to be leaving, you might ask, just as we're getting set to introduce all these swell new things. Well, yes and no. When I arrived here this magazine had a style all its own, but it was under wraps, tucked away in a place where creative people were not inclined to see it. Being bound into the middle of Ad Age every month as we were back then, someone once said to me, was "like finding Spy magazine in the middle of The Wall Street Journal." We persisted through some lean years in the early '90s, and finally broke through in '93 when we went free-standing.
At this point, having done this job as long as I have, it's simply time for me to move on to something else and turn this over to a new and fresh set of opinions, biases and perspectives. There are bigger issues that I'd like to address, and the best place for me to tackle them iis at Ad Age, where I'll be playing to a much broader, much larger audience.
Since I started telling people what I was going to do I've gotten some really nice comments from unexpected sources. One tall, square-jawed CD at a very prominent Minneapolis agency called and said, "What the hell are you doing? You've got a great gig there." And he's right, you know, I do have a great gig. We get to look at the best work out there, and then choose that which we want to serve up to our readers. It's been lots of fun, putting this package together each month.
Along the way we've functioned with remarkable autonomy; the editors of Ad Age have never dictated to us what to cover and how. Rather, they have supported this product and thrown their considerable resources behind it, and for that I have to thank Rance Crain, AA publisher Ed Erhardt, current AA group editor David Klein and former editor Fred Danzig, who remains a vocal booster of this book. I've also had the privilege to work with a talented and unheralded group of people, all of whom deserve ample credit for making this magazine what it is today. They include executive editor Terry Kattleman and associate editor Ivy Kazenoff, former staffer-turned-freelancer Patricia Riedman and correspondents Warren Berger, Cathy Madison and Julia Miller. In addition, I'd also like to acknowledge the contributions of Andy Jacobson, our design director, and of course John Brice, our managing director and my business-side counterpart, who has played an integral role in our growth and development. I'll continue to contribute to Creativity, but now only as a feature writer, not as its editor, which is just ducky with me. In fact, I'm already at work on a major agency profile (sorry, can't say who) that will run later this year, so I'll still be around. You can reach me at [email protected], or at 212-210-0146, if you've got any sage advice for me as I start this new endeavor.
Thanks for everything, and see you around.-Anthony Vagnoni