Even if you missed Bob Peltier’s retirement signoff in last month’s column, you will have noticed that something has changed. POWER has a new editor at the top of the masthead (its 10th in 131 years, according to magazine historian Bob). Some of the changes are obvious, including the fact that I have more hair on my head and less over my lip than Bob. If you look past appearances, you’ll learn that my PhD is in English while Bob’s is in engineering.
Unless you know both of us well, you may not know that the past and present top editor of this illustrious title have a lot in common. We both have been professors, so we appreciate the educational value that POWER’ s content can provide. We also both care about the brand’s legacy—particularly the print magazine—while recognizing that its future depends upon being accessible on multiple media platforms. And we both prefer communications via email rather than telephone! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred, because that reaches all editors) or email@example.com.
For the decade and a bit that we worked together as editor-in-chief and managing editor, Bob and I made a fine team. Some of what I know about publishing (I had previously had a career that included various roles in book, magazine, and newsletter publishing) rubbed off on Bob, while some of what he knows about the power industry rubbed off on me. In other cases, we learned together.
We had complementary skills and interests. I came to the magazine from a business that provided information services to distribution utilities and their end users. Bob brought a combination of prime mover technology expertise plus engineering theory and practice to the enterprise. On matters of power politics and policy we sometimes disagreed, but just as often we seemed to more or less agree. The editorial team of a good industry magazine should be able to accommodate a range of well-informed opinions, and I believe you’ll find that the new team we have and are building will demonstrate diversity as well.
Luckily for me, though Bob has retired, he hasn’t completely disappeared. He has graciously agreed to stay available part time as a consulting editor. You’ll see his name in these pages and on our website with some regularity, but he’ll also be available to staff as the go-to tech advisor. Even as I envy Bob’s new, more leisurely pace of involvement with the POWER brand, I am grateful to have had a smart, reliable, and qualified colleague for so many years.
Nobody Is Immune to Change
Meanwhile, the power industry isn’t standing still. That’s why the weekly POWERnews eletter (you can subscribe online) and news stories posted throughout the week on powermag.com are your best way of staying current on the latest big stories. This issue’s cover stories on award-winning gas-fired Top Plants also indicate some of the ways the industry is changing. Unfortunately, as improved technologies enter the operating environment, they sometimes bring with them new risk factors; our special reports on cybersecurity offer information about current and emerging ways to mitigate those risks.
The publishing industry also continues to change—at an even faster pace. The media options for delivering information—the “platforms”—continue to proliferate, and we are constantly evaluating how best to deploy our resources to reach our audiences where they spend their time. You’ll be hearing more about platform upgrades in future issues.
Regardless of the challenges power generators and media companies face, our customers expect regular, reliable service, which means flexibility and adaptability are essential. To respond to shifting priorities, we have another staffing change effective this issue: Our colleague David Wagman has moved from the editorial side to the POWER events side. He’ll be working mostly on ELECTRIC POWER, webinars, and other events, but you’ll still see his name in print and online now and then. And because we need to fill the gap left by editors who have moved into different roles, we are advertising for a new technology editor (see the announcement on p. 56).
In the meantime, the core of the familiar POWER team remains hard at work. Ken Maize, whose knowledge of the history of power and its politics is voluminous, continues to handle our MANAGING POWER Direct eletter, the blog, and the occasional print feature. Sonal Patel’s keen interest in international power issues and domestic policy developments makes her the center of gravity for news coverage (and those wonderful BIG PICTURE infographics each month). Tom Overton’s unique background in engineering, the nuclear Navy, law, and publishing has made him valuable not just as editor of our GAS POWER Direct eletter but also as a social media maven and as a flexible player in various supporting roles across the POWER brand.
Together, we’re determined to ensure that POWER continues to be the industry’s leading source of information across print, web, email, social media, and event platforms. Over the next months I’ll be sharing some of the ways in which you, our diverse audience, can take advantage of what we offer to help to make the POWER brand, and your businesses, even stronger. ■
— Gail Reitenbach, PhD is editor of POWER. Follow her on Twitter @GailReit and the editorial team @POWERmagazine.