We are in the process of getting our website up and it is my privilege to share this very first blog entry with you.
My intent with this blog is to keep you up to date with the Editors page in the magazine and add a little extra information as and when needed. As we are just getting this started we will see how much blogging will actually be done. At this early stage of the magazine we are finding that much time is devoted to producing a high quality magazine and ensuring that it reaches as many readers and subscribers as possible.
So here below please find the first Letter from the Editor first published in the Jan/Feb issue from 2013.
When the call came in early September, I wasn’t sure what to expect. “This is Anders Neumuller, I wonder if you would be interested in taking over the Swedish Press.” And that is how it all started. It was just a phone call, with the usually relaxed yet professional Anders on the other end. As soon as I put the phone down, the gears started turning: how interesting that he asked us and that he had remembered, from a discussion a few years ago, that Joan, my wife, is a graphic designer who used to design magazines back in the 90s when we met in Hong Kong.
“Can you let us know in three weeks?” Anders asked before finishing the call. So we decided that we better get going with the due diligence: Who do we know in the magazine business? Who do we know in the Swedish community? Who would know if it is possible to earn a living running a magazine? And what will our children think about this idea?
We asked a number of people for their opinions and also had a financial analyst take a serious look at the numbers and the outlook. The opinions we received were indeed mixed and we received much advice to be really careful and not jump into something we were not sure about, especially as this is a struggling sector .
After being advised by a trusted friend, we also carried out a risk analysis and concluded that if this was going to be purely a business decision, the answer would be no. But this was much more than a business decision, this was about heritage, culture, language and keeping the connection to my roots and my family “back home”. And it was about encouraging our Canadian half-Chinese children who were born in Europe, to keep the connection and embrace the Swede in them.
It was October 7th; we had a lovely lunch outside in Anders and Hamida’s garden and we confirmed the news that we had given them verbally a day or two before: Yes – we would be pleased, honoured and delighted to go ahead and take over the business. We signed a half page agreement, cheered, took a few photos and suddenly, after having thought about it for 5-6 weeks, we became the owners of an 83-year old magazine with approximately 10 million readers over its lifetime and an archive to show for it.
The 14 weeks since that sunny October Sunday have been nothing less than amazing and seem to have passed in no time despite the fact that Joan and I have worked 7 days a week with many late nights, but here it is – the fresh Swedish Press – proudly presented by the wonderful and amazing Swedish Press team.
Thank you Anders and Hamida, thank you Joan, thank you Anton, Alisha and Arkus, thank you Sydney and our writers and finally thank you to you our readers!