John Duke, vice president of Print Media at Competitor Group, and a major player in the transition of Velo News, Triathlete into the Competitor Group, has left to pursue other interests. This was noted in a press release on Bicyle Retailer (January 5, 2010): http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/3583.html.
Duke is one of the most respected publishers in multi and endurance sports. Fourteen years at the helm of Triathlete magazine and two years developing CGI print, Duke is well regarded in the sports media industry. A man of immense creativity, Duke did what publishers do: he created a need for his media products and kept both his readership and advertisers engaged.
Andy Hersam, former RW publisher, who came to Competitor Group in the past year, will be taking over John Duke’s former duties. Mr. Hersam is the senior vice president of media for CGI. Hersam’s reputation as the publisher of Runners World makes his role at CGI even more fascinating. If anyone can challenge RW’s mantle in running sports media, it is Hersam.
While the release was quite laudatory about Mr. Duke’s performances, and praise from Peter Engleheart, Director of Falconhead Capital, was accurate and thoughtful, many in the industry, and within CGI, were surprised about the announcement. A manager and sales pro of Duke’s level stands out, especially in a time like the industry has faced over the last two years.
The challenge for Competitor Group over the next two years is to bring the success of their various media components in line with the success of their events. If anyone can elevate the media components, it would be Andy Hersam. We wish both Mr. Duke and Mr. Hersam the best of luck in 2010.
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