The first night was the worst. At 5 p.m., our production editor quit. We’d been bickering about my desire for paper proofs versus his desire to proofread the first issue of City Pulse on a computer screen. Chalk up our differences to our ages: At 30 years younger than I, he no doubt thought a computer was the way to go. I insisted on my way. (I mean, if you are going to print a newspaper, then you have to believe in words on paper, don’t you?) So, he got up, announced he was quitting and walked out.
How to get the paper out? I sure didn’t know enough about computers to do it, and no one else in the office on Aug. 14, 2001, did, either. Ah, but across Turner Street was Message Makers, which was full of computers and graphic artists. And so, I walked over and got buzzed in. Nobody was visible to me, but I figured somebody had to be within earshot. So, I said, “Is there anyone here who can put out City Pulse tonight?” A skinny kid on the mezzanine leaned over the balcony and said, “I can do that.”
That was Steve Kovar. He arrived at 5:30, sat down and, in my memory, didn’t get up again till we finished at 3:30 in the morning. By that time, we’d missed our first deadline. We ended up printing the paper on Aug. 15, 2001, and distributing it a day later.
And thus was born City Pulse. Born on the eve of 9/11 and in a recession from which Michigan has never fully emerged.
Now here we are beginning our second decade. If I am counting correctly, this is our 517th issue (the first three issues being biweekly). A staggering number of people’s names have appeared on our masthead in that time. They are all to be thanked, and we’ve done so on the back of the 16-page special section we publish today to commemorate our 10th anniversary. The list is incomplete. For example, the first production manager’s name never made it onto a masthead. For the record, thank you, Randy Yeip. Apparently, quitting City Pulse didn’t hurt him. He works for The Wall Street Journal now.
We’ve had scores of delivery drivers who get the paper to what started as about 275 locations and is now 453. They’ve never gotten credit. So, starting today, they will on our masthead.
Thank you, all.
Too many people deserve to be singled out for a special thank you. Here are a few: Justin Bilicki, who drew our first cover and drew this week’s cover and has drawn dozens in between. Justin was an editorial cartoonist at The State News during my stint there as general manager in the 1990s. He is way too busy in his successful career at an ad agency in New York to still being doing this, but he does.
Larry Cosentino is another. Larry came aboard at the outset to write about classical music, which he still does — along with just about any topic we’ve thrown at him. He wrote 10,000 words last spring in the special issue we did on the opening of the Accident Fund headquarters. As I write this, he is helping put the finishing touches on the 10th anniversary special section, which is largely his baby. Thank you.
Meanwhile, another longtime contributor, Bill Castanier, is putting together the 10th anniversary edition of the radio show on The Impact we’ve been doing since 2002. So, a double thank you to Bill, who has never accepted a cent for all he has done for us, and to Gary Reid and the kids at The Impact for giving us an hour every week. And to Tim Barron, who has had me on his radio show most Wednesday mornings now for 10 years.
Thanks also to two mayors, David Hollister and Virg Bernero, for their words in the special section as well as the others who took the time to write for this issue. And to Vince Joy, our production manager/chief ad designer, whose superb design of the special section today is a fitting farewell effort:
He is moving to New York shortly after two years of making City Pulse ever so much better.
Vince: say hi to Randy Yeip if you run into him. Tell him all is forgiven.