(Note: This story appears in the March 2023 issue of ED Magazine)

I pulled my 1988 Dodge Aries into the parking lot at Hodusa Towers in Clearwater, FL. I had a boom box in tow — yes, a boom box — a “fancy” one with detachable speakers. I wore a flannel shirt, because we still weren’t completely out of the “grunge” fashion phase (or maybe we were, and I was woefully out of style). I didn’t have a cell phone because … well, I didn’t know anyone who owned a cell phone yet. Not even a Nokia. I had just begun growing my hair out because I was in a band, and I had finally landed a job where I could have long hair. And I was gonna write about strip clubs.

Hell freaking yes.

If that opening paragraph sounds like a long, LONG time ago, that’s because it was. 25 years, to be exact. That day was March 9, 1998, my first day at ED Publications. It’s quite a thing to be anywhere for 25 years, and if you had told that kid that he’d be helming ED Publications a quarter century later he probably would have said, “Damnit, my band didn’t get signed?!” I’m joking (well, half-joking, anyway).

Dave Manack

Like many journalists, I had been grinding away for about eight years as a freelance journalist before I got the “full-time” gig with ED. That included time as a sportswriter and a music journalist. I tried to follow the advice of the poet Robert Frost: “My goal in life is to unite my avocation with my vocation, as my two eyes make one in sight.” I had some talent as a writer, and I loved music and sports so I chose that path accordingly.

Then, one day, I stumbled on an ad in the newspaper (yes, people still used want ads in the newspaper back in 1998): “Assistant editor wanted for men’s trade journal.” I had no clue what a “men’s trade journal” was, but I applied. I interviewed with ED Founder Don Waitt. A day later, he hired me. I’d like to think it was one of Don’s best decisions, and I’d also like to think that over the past 25 years I’ve helped shape the direction (and the overall quality) of the magazine, the Annual EXPO, and the environment of the office we call our home away from home.

There are simply too many people to thank on an occasion like a 25-year anniversary. But I do want to thank Don Waitt for taking a chance on a young buck who just needed a chance. I also want to thank three fellow ED staffers who have shared in the majority of my experience here: Art director Kevin Pennington (my first hire), the lovely and talented “Queen Bee” Teresa Tearno, and my fellow journalist and horror afficionado (now star salesman) Kris Kay. I can’t imagine doing this job without you guys … thank you.

Greetings and farewells at ED Publications!

If you’ve called into the office any time in the past couple of months … well, you’ve likely heard a few new voices answering the phone! In the January issue we announced that we’d hired a new marketing assistant, Carley Dummitt. Unfortuantely, Carley had to relocate back to Oklahoma, so it’s time to introduce you to not just one new hire, but two! Say hello to our new marketing assistant Allie Kiger and our new editor, Lilly Jenner. 

“I’m so glad to join the team as a writer/editor with a great appreciation for the industry, especially the entertainers I hope to do justice to,” says Lilly. “I’m looking forward to meeting more clients, writing, positioning commas for clarity (copyediting is sex for me), and the EXPO, of course!”

“Hi everyone! I am so lucky to be a part of the ED Publications family,” adds Allie. “I’m excited to get to know you all in the days to come.”

Of course, the fact that we’ve hired a new editor means that our longtime editor, Eugenio Torrens, has decided to move on to new opportunities. Eugenio actually gave his notice back in August, but was gracious enough to stay on board until we hired a new editor. Solid dude.

I am sure that our clients will miss working with Eugenio, but no one will miss him more than the ED staff. Me, most especially. Eugenio is a hard-working, sharp guy, who never required micromanagement and cranked out articles on a daily basis with no complaints. Simply put, he’s a good egg. Most of all, I’ll miss talking sports with Eugenio, a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan. 

But as the amazing lyricist (and arguably the greatest rock drummer of all time) Neil Peart once wrote, “No changes are permanent — but change is.”

Dave Manack, Publisher

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