Revisiting SNIPS' 75th Anniversary
This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared in March 2007 as part of Snips’ 75th anniversary.
In the March 2003 issue, readers are told that publisher Sally Fraser has named Michael McConnell Snips editor.
In his first editorial, McConnell reflected on his past, readers’ opinions of the magazine and relayed some advice Bas had given him.
It’s a funny thing about opportunities. They often come when you least expect them. I know that’s a cliché, but it’s true. No one could have predicted the stroke that Ed Bas, Snips’ former editor and publisher, suffered in July 2002. And if you asked me a year ago if I would become editor of the only national trade magazine covering the sheet metal industry, I would have laughed. I hadn’t even really thought about it.
But here I am. I hope you’ll welcome me as Snips’ new editor. Some of you may already know me from talking on the phone or we may have met at a trade show. And those of you whom I haven’t met, please feel free to call and introduce yourself. One thing I’ve always liked about Snips is it’s a people-oriented publication. Sure, we write about what companies are doing or about this or that project, but it always comes back to people: How did this contractor feel about working on the biggest project in the state in 10 years? It’s something I think sets this magazine apart and something I plan to continue.
When Ed Bas hired me, he told me to think of Snips as a sort of community newspaper for the sheet metal industry - the type of publication where you would look to see your neighbor’s name or picture in print. That was good advice and is something I’ve thought of often.
Snips readers are some of the most passionate and loyal people I know. I get a kick out of visiting your offices and seeing our magazine in your reception areas, right next to Time and Newsweek. I’m also honored. …
… A little bit of background on me: I joined Snips’ staff in the spring of 2000, after working since college at a twice-weekly community newspaper. It would be an understatement to say I didn’t know a plasma table from one used to play pingpong. But during the last three years, that’s certainly changed. I’ve learned just what it takes to create the ductwork that hangs in most buildings and how important its proper installation truly is.
I’m looking forward to making Snips, already a fine publication, even better. Thanks for reading.
An August 2003 feature on Wisconsin contractor Thomas “Bud” Goodman led to the return of sheet metal patterns in the pages of Snips. Goodman has a large collection of antique books on manual sheet metal layout, and operates a website dedicated to preserving this craft. He began contributing articles.
Snips added a new associate editor in June 2004 when James J. Siegel joined the staff. Siegel was formerly the education and training editor at BNP’s Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News.
The magazine was again redesigned in late 2005 by art director Nicole Bonkoski, who modified the appearance of feature articles and news departments. The new look debuts in January 2006.
An “e-newsletter” is started the same month. Featuring late-breaking news, online exclusives and a preview of upcoming issues, it quickly amasses a loyal following.