A new year...and a new look

One of the hardest things a magazine editor has to decide is what works and what doesn`t. We at Cabling Installation & Maintenance have been happy, overall, with the magazine`s reception by and reputation with its readers, so the thought of changing what works is one we have put aside whenever it has come up.

Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.

Chief Editor

arlynp@pennwell.com

One of the hardest things a magazine editor has to decide is what works and what doesn`t. We at Cabling Installation & Maintenance have been happy, overall, with the magazine`s reception by and reputation with its readers, so the thought of changing what works is one we have put aside whenever it has come up.

However, nothing`s perfect, so over the last year we`ve taken a hard look at the magazine with an eye to improving it. We`ve conducted direct-mail surveys and held some focus groups to find out from readers what they like and don`t like about the magazine.

Both our research with readers and our discussions with each other have pointed to two basic conclusions: First, the information we are providing is of the right type and level and length; second, the way we are presenting that information could be improved. The first conclusion was gratifying, because it means we remain on target in serving your information needs; the second conclusion is not surprising, since the magazine has grown up in a piecemeal fashion over the last five years.

So, we`ve done a lot of thinking and talking and sketching, and have come up with what you`ll find this month in Cabling Installation & Maintenance. We`re keeping much the same content, but we`ve reorganized it so it`s easier to follow, and we`ve redesigned the magazine so that it`s more cohesive.

The changes begin on the cover, where we`ve redone our logo to emphasize the word "cabling," and go all the way to the last page, where we`ve moved our monthly opinion column--and relabeled it "Endface." Inside, the stories and columns fall into three major sections: "Crosstalk & Feedback," "Features," and "Products & Services."

"Crosstalk & Feedback," at the front of the magazine, is our attempt to let the readers speak to each other. The section includes my editorial, the letters column, and "Ask Donna," our question-and-answer column.

In the middle of the magazine come the features. We have stayed with the basic subjects we have covered all along--design, installation, technology, and standards--but when we have the space, we`re going to expand into other areas we hope will be of interest to you. At the end of the feature section will be the Installer Tips, one of the most popular sections of the magazine.

The final section of Cabling Installation & Maintenance, "Products & Services," contains information that can help you do your job. Our product round-up and new-product write-ups are found there, along with our calendar of industry events and a section of news briefs. A new feature introduced this month is "Premier Products," a page of expanded product write-ups covering innovative products and services that can improve your competitive edge.

We hope you like the new look. Let us know what you think of it.

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