Closer Together Covers? Page 2

At a series of strategic planning meetings that took place in Santa Fe at the end of June, Petersen VP Jackie Augustine, who's in charge of the company's High Technology Group (of which Stereophile is part (footnote 2)), decided to increase the amount of editorial content in Stereophile when necessary, starting with our August issue. Under the guidance of our new senior editor, Jonathan Scull (again, see this issue's "Letters"), the magazine's team of reviewers will be pursuing a more proactive strategy with respect to the components we choose to review. And the year 2000 will see further editorial improvements so that we can keep on giving our readers more of what they are entitled to.

As anyone who logs on to the Internet newsgroups knows, Stereophile's content and its editorial policies seem to be an endless source of curiosity for some people. Similarly, some of the magazines with which we share our enthusiasm for recorded music have recently devoted many column inches to what their editors and writers feel Stereophile is doing wrong. I generally do not respond to such criticism—what we do, and how and why we do it, should be apparent from reading any issue of the magazine. But as the sheer quantity of carping about Stereophile's 800-lb gorillalike presence in the high-end audio community seems to be reaching critical mass, I have the following comments to make:

• When you read criticisms of Stereophile on the Net or in other magazines, consider the source! Despite what others might imply and you might read, this magazine's growth and success have been due to two simple things: J. Gordon Holt's vision in 1962 that the best way to assess audio equipment was to listen to it; and year after year after year of 60-hour weeks put in by the most dedicated and talented team of people with which I have had the privilege of working.

• Some industry commentators have conjectured that Stereophile's owner, Emap Petersen, wishes to dumb down the magazine. To reassure those with such concerns: I guided Stereophile's content for 12 years prior to Petersen's acquisition of the magazine, and, as the relevant Petersen manager, I will guide that content for many years to come. I produce the magazine that I personally want to read, and I intend to keep on doing so.

• Jackie Augustine, this magazine's executive publisher, believes in Stereophile's mission (and also continues the Stereophile tradition of working long, antisocial hours). Other than slight changes in course dictated by the inevitable changes in the high-end audio industry and the technology available to it, our goal remains the same: Whatever the medium via which audiophiles choose to enjoy their music—be it two-channel or surround-sound, CD, SACD, DVD-A, MP3, LP, or whatever—you will be able to read about it and how to get the best from it in Stereophile.

Footnote 2: The other titles are Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Home Theater, Home Theater Buyer's Guide, Home Theater Interiors, Photographic, Digital Home Entertainment, Mobile Computing, and Portable Computing.