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Q&A with Publisher Michael Cassidy

By Jim Tarbox

Michael Cassidy is the publisher of the HISTORY channel magazine and Corporate Sales Director at North American Media Group (Minnetonka, Minn.) as well as a part-time professor at St. Thomas University teaching Organizational Behavior. In his spare time he is busy raising his nine children with his wife of 22 years, Shery.

Q: How did you get started in the magazine business?

I knew I was not a good enough writer to make a living so I started selling recipe ads for Outdoor Life magazine.

Q: What's the best part of working in the magazine industry?

Sharing the passion for history that our members have (editor’s note: the HISTORY channel magazine is the chief benefit of member in NAMG’s HISTORY channel club). It is inspiring when you love the subject matter and that passion is reflected in your daily life. Loving what you do is a gift.

Q: What's the worst part?

Sometimes you have to make business decisions based on market conditions and you cannot let your personal feelings of the subject matter get in the way.

Q: Where do you see the special-interest magazine industry in a few years? In 10?

Special-interest magazines will always have a place in the world. People’s passions lead them and now more so than ever. We have seen many large-circulation magazines go away or reduce their circulation by half and this will continue. They are simply too costly to maintain and cannot get advertising support to make them profitable. I believe niche magazines will be around and in fact stronger than ever in 10 years.

Q: What are the big challenges and opportunities facing the HISTORY channel magazine?

Our biggest challenge is getting the word out on the HISTORY channel magazine and the incredible responsiveness, affinity, and avidity of the club member. Many of our members have committed to receive the magazine and remain a member for life!

Q: What do you read regularly?

The HISTORY channel magazine, of course! I am also currently reading Something of Value, by Robert Ruark.

Q: Are there any gizmos or apps that you just can't live without?

I am now permanently attached to my Droid.