Up Front

My girlfriend Lee was complaining to me the other day that her family constantly lumps her into a dual identity with her wayward identical-twin sister. The most thoughtful person about sending cards and remembering occasions, Lee suffers endless frustration over the charges like, “The Twins forgot Grandma’s birthday again,” and “The Twins were late for dinner.” She’s not even positive her dad knows which of the twins she is, despite the fact one has sported a completely different nose for more than 15 years.

We know how she feels. Occasionally, we pick up that there’s some confusion about Walls & Ceilings, its affiliations and its visibility in the industry. I’d like to devote this month’s column to clearing up any confusion about who we are, who we aren’t and how we work here.

Some of you write in to us mentioning that you’re “members.” While we at the magazine are tickled pink to have you as a subscriber, you couldn’t possibly be a member because we don’t have any. Walls & Ceilings is an independent publication not affiliated with any group.

And speaking of sisters, Walls & Ceilings has no such publication in this industry, despite what you might hear from those who might be attempting to glean favor off our good name. We have about 30 sister publications at Business News Publishing Co., including Roofing Contractor and Plumbing & Mechanical, but in the walls and ceilings business, we’re happy to be an only child.

Some of you also tell us that you go to our show. Shows are great, but we leave them up to industry associations and other groups. You can almost always find our booth, though—even if you have to look for us hidden in the back corner once in a while!

And when you find us or call us, you’ll want to know just who we are. Sometimes in my column I drop the names of Nick Moretti and John Wyatt, managing editor and associate editor, respectively. Then we have our regular industry columnists, Robert Thomas, Greg Campbell (who is charged with a little more regularity in 2001), Jeff Syken, Robin Raymer, Jon Mooney, Kevin Bush and Bill Scannell. We are hoping industry stalwart and friend Bob Welch returns to our pages soon, too. If you’re ever trying to remember where you read a particular column, it might help to refer to this list or the one in the masthead to freshen up on names.

Behind the scenes are Lyn Sopola, production manager; Amy Tuttle, sales manager for the east and north part of the United States, as well as Canada; and Paula Graham, sales manager for the south and west portions of the country. A host of other great people keep us up and running. They’re listed in the masthead, too.

Last, why—you may wonder—are some issues bigger than others? The answer is that Walls & Ceilings derives its revenue almost entirely from ad sales. (A little trickles in from reprint sales and things like that.) The percentage of editorial and size of the magazine is determined by a formula based on sales. Amy and Paula try their darnedest, but some months are lighter in sales than others. We wish we could mail you a big, fat issue every month, but this magazine is a little business responsible for its own bottom line—just like yours.

I hope this helps. See you at the next family gathering!

Sarah Mazure

Editor and Publisher