The life of a business journalist as entrepreneur

Henry Dubroff, the editor in chief and founder of the Pacific Business Times, writes about how the publication has survived as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Dubroff writes, “Nothing is guaranteed but no crisis lasts forever. At the Business Times, we worked really hard in the summer of 2001 to get our costs under control so we could have a break even operation. A key part was launching our first event, 40 Under 40, in late September and the Sept. 11 attacks happened just as we were going to press. It’s hard to imagine but all air traffic stopped, the stock markets closed and then cratered. But on the Monday of our first 40 under 40 dinner, markets rallied, people came out and the world began what would be a slow return to normal. We were lucky with our timing, but our persistence paid off.

“The company will talk to you — listen carefully. Technological changes have reshaped the news industry over the past two decades, which means our team has had to learn new skills and adapt. As an independent small business, we don’t have the resources that large organizations have but we also have the ability to be nimble. I was at a journalism conference in Phoenix when a casual conversation between one of our staff and a New York Times executive gave me a clue about how we could adapt our print subscriptions to add digital access with relative ease. Recently, we’ve been able to leverage social media to raise the visibility of our events and our awards programs. When we’ve had growth spurts, the company has sent strong signals that it was time to add staff or invest in new technology.”

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