The time was September 1954 and the place was 744 Broad Street, Newark, when a staff of eight people celebrated the inaugural issue of New Jersey Business, which they had sent to the presses just a few weeks before. The cover story that first month marked the diamond jubilee of the incandescent light bulb. An image of famed New Jersey inventor Thomas Edison, recreating his light bulb experiment years later, graced the front cover of the magazine.
That story and image of Edison is appropriate in many ways when comparing it to the life and evolution of New Jersey Business magazine. Like the Wizard of Menlo Park’s long, eventful – or should we say “inventful” – life, ours has been marked by progress as we have adapted through the years – and sometimes have been the first adopters of – new technologies in a media world in constant flux.
New Jersey Business magazine’s early founders, F. Calvin (Cal) Louderback in particular, would have been proud of the long history this publication has created. He himself was an agent of change and new ideas, as he originated the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s (NJBIA) New Good Neighbor Awards, in conjunction with the magazine, and the association’s annual Golf Day, which has become the main business networking golf event in the state. Outside of the magazine and NJBIA, Louderback aided the state in establishing three trade missions to Europe, Central America and Mexico.
Other former employees who take great pride in this magazine’s major milestone include former Editor-in-Chief Jim Prior, who worked at the magazine from 1973 to 2004. He comments, “Over the past six decades, New Jersey Business has become an essential tool for businesspersons in the state. Many magazines have disappeared, often in a few years,” Prior says, “but New Jersey Business has staying power. … It has stood the test of time.” During his tenure, Prior introduced what still remain annual magazine features, such as: “The Top 100 Employers” listing and feature story; the “Annual Office Review;” the “Annual Industrial Review;” and “The Innovative State” issue, which is an in-depth look at the many research & development initiatives taking place throughout New Jersey’s high-tech sectors.
Former Publisher Phil Battista, who worked at the magazine from 1976 until his retirement in 2011, says of the magazine: “New Jersey Business has comfortably occupied a premier business publishing niche these past 60 years. Supported by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), and with advertising support from government and the private sector, the magazine seamlessly continues to provide timely business reporting and information to help businesses throughout the state’s 21 counties. I’m proud to have played a part at this time-honored, outstanding publication.”
Cal Louderback and a few of his associates, who gained their publishing experience at Greater Philadelphia magazine, established an entity called New Jersey Publications and its premier publication, New Jersey Business, in 1954. The magazine’s circulation that first year was 2,000.
Louderback and associate Joseph Leddy purchased the magazine outright a year later. Three years afterwards, they sold the publication to the New Jersey Manufacturers Association (today’s NJBIA). Louderback became the publication’s editor at that point. In 1958, he became publisher when John LeMaire joined the staff as editor.
In 1959, the magazine expanded to offices in Newark’s Military Park Hotel. A year later, Jacqueline Juster joined the editorial department. She would remain on staff for 34 years, rising to the positions of managing editor and senior editor.
In 1966, the magazine relocated to The Robert Treat Hotel. Two years afterwards, Howard Dolainski joined the staff as advertising director. He soon became associate director of publishing. Louderback, meanwhile, became director of special projects at NJBIA. He retired from the association and the magazine in 1974.
Eugene Murphy served as the magazine’s editor from 1970 until 1973. Jim Prior, who formerly served as business editor at The Record, was named to the post afterwards. That same year, Donald T. Hahnes joined the publication as advertising director. He would later be promoted to associate publisher, publisher and executive publisher. He retired from the magazine in 2005 after 32 years of service.
As mentioned previously, Phil Battista joined the magazine in 1977 as advertising manager. He became advertising director in 1984 and publisher in 2003, retiring in 2011.
The Current Team
Today, New Jersey Business is located at 310 Passaic Avenue in Fairfield. It moved to this location in 1987.
Current staff members include: Publisher Vincent Schweikert, who joined the staff in 1988 as assistant advertising manager and would be promoted to advertising manager, advertising director, business manager and associate publisher; Editor-in-Chief Anthony Birritteri, who joined the magazine in 1989 as editorial assistant and would be promoted to associate editor, managing editor and senior editor; Managing Editor George Saliba, who came on board in 2002 as editorial assistant and would be promoted to associate editor and deputy editor; Advertising Director Lisa Criscuolo, who joined in 2003 as advertising account executive and would be promoted to advertising manager; Account Executive Gloria Owens, who joined in 2010; Account Executive Doug Prefach, who joined in 2011; Communications Associate Angeline Li, who joined in 2011; Assistant Editor Anthony Bucci, who joined in 2012, after serving as an intern at the magazine; and Art Director Mike Sanchez, who joined in 2013.
This team of nine puts together an award-winning publication that today reaches 25,000 subscribers, 21,000 of which includes the member companies of NJBIA. This translates into an estimated 109,000 executive readers, based on a Circulation Verification Council (CVC) pass-a-long readership rate of 4.5 persons. Additionally, the magazine goes to the Governor’s Office, members the State Legislature, various county and municipal leaders and subscribers outside of NJBIA membership.
Throughout the years, the magazine has taken advantage of the latest in publishing technologies. In fact, it was one of the first magazines in the state to have its own website. This was back in 1995. Since that time, the look and function of the website – www.njbmagazine.com – has changed many times, most recently this year. Editors are now posting news on the fly, and readers have the opportunity to post their comments and opinions to the online content. News sections on the website include: NJB News Now, News Tracker and Trenton Talk. The website is also formatted for most smart phones. Complementing this is our page-turn digital issue, which readers can subscribe to on our website or via the Apple App Store.
We also broadcast a daily e-zine newsletter with breaking business news from around the state. People can sign up for the e-zine, free-of-charge, at the top right of this page.
All of this news makes its way onto social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter, offering viewers the opportunity to interact with magazine writers and editors.
The magazine enjoys a strong relationship with NJBIA and works hand-in-hand with the association on various special projects and feature stories. Additionally, it has strong affiliation with New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company and publishes NJM news that is of interest to its business readership.
The magazine has worked with every New Jersey governor of the past 60 years, and has interviewed other politicians from all levels of government. It has interviewed the captains of industry from large Fortune 500 companies and has reported on the dreams of the small business owner whose entrepreneurial spirit makes one proud to live and succeed in the United States, and particularly, in the great Garden State.
According to Melanie Willoughby, NJBIA acting president, “New Jersey Business has been around for 60 years because it is the best at what it does. No other publication covers business with the same depth and insight from such a distinct New Jersey perspective. The entire staff provides a great service to the members of NJBIA, and we are proud of our magazine.”
Publisher Vincent Schweikert adds, “The strength of New Jersey Business magazine is based in the clout of its readership, the membership of NJBIA. Our goal is to help those members succeed in today’s complex and competitive business environment. It is why we are committed to delivering our content across various platforms, be it in print, or online. The exciting aspect of all this is we have more readers than ever before.”
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