In honor of our high-tech world of sound bites and distilled information, I’ll be blunt: I’m taking my leave as technology writer for CSP starting in the fall, assuming the role of CSP’s new tobacco editor.
Melissa Vonder Haar, who has been covering that beat for several years, has decided to join her family’s business. She’ll still be walking the halls at industry conventions, but this time as a supplier to the convenience channel. (See p. 110 for Melissa’s own goodbye.)
This news may come as a shock to many of you, considering I’ve written about technology in CSP for 16 years—longer if you include the c-store publications I wrote for going back to the 1980s. (Don’t try to do the math.)
I arrived at this decision with the future of CSP in mind. While the magazine will always be a staple, we’re increasingly focusing on growing our digital readership. In terms of how many people click on certain stories, tobacco trumps technology by literally thousands.
That’s as exciting and motivating for a writer as a c-store discovering its next big best seller.
The move also allowed CSP to retain my experience in technology, while giving me a new, quickly evolving beat to focus on.
I mean, think about it: Who wouldn’t want to write about marijuana?
But most important, tobacco is a core category to you, our readers. I feel a strong attachment to the people who make their living in convenience retailing, so it would be an honor to become a larger asset to you going forward.
I’ll take on the tobacco mantle with pride and help to usher in my replacement on the technology beat. It’ll be a slow process, so it’s not goodbye just yet. But the winds of change are kicking up, and when they finally whisk me off, know you can find me just a few pages away.