Just a few minutes before this picture was taken I had somewhat ceremoniously presented the keys of my office to Jack Meyers, formally welcomed him on his first day of work as SI's new Publisher and prepared to leave for my own new corporate assignment as a Vice-President of Time Inc.
Since Jack will be signing these letters in the future, I thought you might like to know something about your new correspondent—with whom I have quite a lot in common. We both served in the Marines in Korea and were awarded Purple Hearts [ED. note: the score was Munro 3, Meyers 1], we both came to SI from TIME and we presently live not too far apart in Connecticut with a wife and three children apiece.
Jack joined TIME in 1955 and has served as the manager of its Cleveland, Chicago and New York offices. In 1968 he was made TIME'S Worldwide Sales Director, this June he was appointed Associate Publisher and Director of Advertising Sales and in July he was named a Vice-President of Time Inc. A sports enthusiast, he played defensive halfback for Michigan State, is an avid golfer who is on the board of the International Golf Association, a relentless spectator and the owner of two show horses. Now, in my opinion anyway, he also has the best job in the magazine business.
In 1954 Harry Phillips, SI's first Publisher, closed his initial letter with the hope and promise "that in some tomorrow you will no longer think of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as Time Inc.'s newest baby, but as the accepted and essential weekly reporter of the Wonderful World of Sport." Now, 18 years later, I think it is fair to consider that prediction fulfilled—SPORTS ILLUSTRATED represents a $75 million-a-year publishing property with a weekly readership of 13 million people.
When Jack and I sat down to talk about his new responsibilities, I found myself filled with the same kind of mixed emotions I had felt the day I left home for the first time. Naturally, I was eager to get going in my own new position, but I have spent most of my working life at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. I arrived in 1960 as Assistant Business Manager (a job with a certain excitement of its own. What are Purple Hearts to a man who goes on to see action on the expense accounts of Tex Maule and Dan Jenkins?) and became Publisher in 1969. Those of us involved in the publishing aspects of the magazine are businessmen but we believe wholeheartedly in the good things sport represents, and working for a sports magazine has an effect on the lives and the spirits of people in such divisions as sales, promotion and business management. We identify with sports, and there is an extra enthusiasm for the product that our editorial colleagues at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED put out.
Now I am involved with cable TV, cassettes, education, books and records. Cable TV, cassettes, education, books and records are O.K., but they are not the Wonderful World of Sport. The job of publishing SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is now Jack Meyers', with its special satisfactions, such pleasures as the chance to get to the World Series and the Kentucky Derby and all the other joys that accompany the responsibility of bringing the magazine to you.