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Notes to remember

CEO NOTES | A minor milestone provides opportunity to look back


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WITH THIS ISSUE—specifically, this CEO Notes No. 192—we have reached a minor milestone: We now have been using this space for eight years for “communications from WORLD to you” (as I wrote in CEO Notes No. 1).

About 20 of the 192 CEO Notes have highlighted people at WORLD. That doesn’t include dozens of other columns that mentioned individuals in the context of another topic. I’ve tried to include some behind-the-scenes people, including in column No. 29 Caroline Harbin, a long-serving editorial assistant who retired in 1982, and in column No. 45 June McGraw, the longer-­serving editorial assistant who took Caroline’s place. In that same column, I featured Judy Russell, our accounting manager who was retiring after 25 years.

News from here in the offices is a loosely defined category. Was the first such column No. 9, in which I reported on the results of WORLD’s fiscal year, or was it No. 15, in which I mentioned our combined WORLD “family” reunion and 75th birthday party for Joel Belz? Either way, the topic took up only about a dozen columns over the years. I need to do better.

I encouraged our members to give charitable contributions to WORLD and gift subscriptions to friends on many occasions, but I counted about 20 columns that were specifically for those purposes.

The “big three” topics, each represented by more than 40 columns, are:

WORLD history: Column No. 3 looked back to 1941 and 1942, respectively, as the year Joel was born and the year Nelson Bell founded The Southern Presbyterian Journal, WORLD’s predecessor publication. The most recent historical column was No. 188, describing how WORLD came to be headquartered in Asheville, N.C.

WORLD projects: Columns along these lines are meant to remind you of WORLD’s other projects and products. Column No. 4, regarding the World Journalism Institute course, was the first. WJI accounted for about half of all the columns in this category, but we frequently mentioned our student products, God’s WORLD News and WORLD Watch, as well as the other WORLD platforms, like Digital and Radio.

WORLD initiatives: These columns relate to all-new products or programs, and changes to existing WORLD products. I suppose column No. 1, in which I talk about our reasons for including a new “Notes from the CEO” column, qualifies in this category. That 2016 column coincided with a redesign of the magazine and the announcement of a new editor, Tim Lamer. It seems like there’s always something new right around the corner.

Speaking of which, some changes are coming to this CEO Notes column itself in coming issues. And those small changes are part of some rather big changes across the organization. That may have to wait for column No. 193. But who’s counting?


Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin is the CEO of WORLD News Group.

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