Does anyone except moms actually read a staff box? Well, if you do, I'll have to change my theory, but that means you also noticed my name there for the first time. I don't expect anyone to pay attention to what magazines any particular writer/photographer works for, but I am actually amazed sometimes at how closely some people keep tabs on the industry.
Yes, my name is new to the Truckin' staff box, but I'm not the new guy. Brandan Gillogly still holds that distinction around the office by virtue of his actually being new to this type of work. I'm not the old guy (despite being 45 years old) because Bob Ryder tops me in that category. So, just who is Bob Carpenter?
I'll give you the Reader's Digest version. I started my magazine career at Petersen Publishing in 1982 at Dirt Rider magazine. (In a previous life I rode motorcycles.) After five years, I became Editor of the newly formed Super/Moto Cross magazine for two years. Then I jumped to the automotive side of the business with a stint at Sport Truck magazine. Circle Track magazine was a great place to fine-tune my technical skills and it put me in a dirt-track stock car for several years. Another opportunity to take a magazine from scratch developed with Custom Classic Trucks, and I enjoyed that for seven years. At the end of 1999, with all the talk about the new millennium, I decided to get out of the enthusiast publication side and try my hand at automotive public relations. That didn't work. I wanted to get back into magazines, so I took a job at another publishing company, where I got the opportunity to work on magazines that covered street rods, musclecars, trucks, and performance boats for the past five years.
So, as you can see, the background is long and varied. With the thought that I could work for just about any magazine that interests me, I was attracted to Primedia for some pretty solid reasons. Truckin' magazine is the granddaddy of all truck magazines. It's the one that started the niche, it's the one that grew the market, and it is still the leader today despite the varied challenges. I've always referred to the extra-thick Truckin' package as "the phone book" and it's the ultimate compliment to a magazine that is so popular with both readers and advertisers. Everyone wants to be associated with a winner, and that includes me. There's more to this new job than just Truckin', however; I have also been given the task of helping our newest truck publication, Diesel Power, get through the outrageous growth curve it has been on. The rapid success has caused Primedia to increase the publication frequency twice already, and it may increase again the way things are going. Editor David Kennedy is doing a great job of guiding the magazine, and my plan is to provide him with a bunch of feature and tech articles to help fill the pages.
But that's not everything I'm charged with doing here. In my role as New Initiatives Editor I am going to be working on some special-interest publications that will be related to trucks and might actually get a chance to take the same path as Diesel Power. The chance to birth another magazine and watch it grow is an exciting one and can't be replaced with any other kind of job I can think of.
So, that's what I've done and what I plan to do. Assuming you care.