Thanks for the memories

In case the front cover delivered the message with too much subtlety, this year marks Lightwave's 30th anniversary. A lot has happened over that time ...

By Stephen Hardy

In case the front cover delivered the message with too much subtlety, this year marks Lightwave's 30th anniversary. A lot has happened over that time, both significant (as outlined in our two cover stories) and not as significant as we thought at the time. (Anyone remember soliton transmission?)

A lot has happened to Lightwave itself as well. The most obvious event is the evolution to digital delivery, a reflection of how the Internet has changed the way most people prefer to receive information. Whereas the Internet was something of an ancillary medium when I first joined the publication in 1997, now much of what used to appear in the magazine – particularly news and products – appears exclusively online. But the Internet hasn't killed the need for magazines; it's given magazines such as Lightwave new ways of serving our readers. We can continue to provide longer, more detailed, and more usefully laid out articles than most websites offer, but we can also borrow the web's hyperlinks and multimedia friendliness to make additional information easier to find. Today's digital magazine is a successful melding of the old and the new, which is why Lightwave should continue to thrive into the future.

Another obvious series of changes has played out over 30 years of Lightwave mastheads. When I came aboard, the staff included Group Editorial Director Jeff Bairstow (my boss), Executive Editor George Kotelly, Executive Managing Editor Catherine Varmazis, and Assistant Managing Editor Marcy Koff. (These hyperlinks, as well as those that follow, will send you to LinkedIn pages when available, in case you're curious about what everyone is up to now.) Dave Janoff was vice president and group publisher.

Between then and now, Lightwave and your humble narrator have benefited from the skills of a wide variety of individuals. Editors have included George Miller (as group editorial director), Grace F. Murphy, Robert Pease, Katherine Richards, Carolyn Mathas, Meghan Fuller Hanna, and Matt Vincent. Gladys Haberman, Ron Karjian (who is back helping out), Sara Fitzpatrick, Sue Boyle, Leah Gladu, and Suretta Williams served as editorial assistants, managing editors, copy editors, and/or assistant editors. Of course, we had a web editor at one time, Mardi Balgochian. And Matthew Peach and Kurt Ruderman helmed different incarnations of Lightwave Europe. Legions of artists and production people have kept the magazine presentable as well.

Publisher-level leadership has come from Tim Pritchard, Christine Shaw, and Susan Smith, as well as our current fearless leader, Ernesto Burden. A small army of sales reps has slaved tirelessly to help pay my exorbitant salary, with our current rep, Kathleen Skelton, clearly the best.

Yes, that's a whole lot of people to whom thanks are due. But, saving the best (or most important) for last, I and everyone who has ever worked on the magazine thank you and all our other avid and loyal readers who have subscribed over the past 30 years. After all, your interest and support are the only reasons Lightwave continues to exist. Together we look forward to witnessing with you what should be a very interesting future for optical communications.

stephenh@pennwell.com

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