James N. (Jim) Hutchinson, who was chief executive officer of Heavy Duty Trucking and its parent company Newport Communications Group for eight years, died Sept. 24 in Newport Beach, California, following a heart attack. He was 63.
Hutchinson took the company over in 2004, following his father Robert’s death, and headed it until it was sold to Bobit Business Media in 2012. The Hutchinson family, based in Seattle, had owned the company for 60 years. Jim Hutchinson’s grandfather, B.N. Hutchinson, acquired the magazine in 1952, when it was a small regional publication called Western Trucking.
In 1968 it was renamed Heavy Duty Trucking and converted to nationwide circulation, sent to owners of medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks.
"That was the beginning of the Newport philosophy of focusing sharply on integrity and expertise in journalism, sales and marketing efforts," said Doug Condra, former Newport Communications president.
Over the next few years, the magazine grew to become the industry’s leading publication, after building a reputation of concise reporting and analysis of trucking issues and equipment.
“Jim Hutchinson never wavered in his support of our philosophy and mission,” Condra recalled. “He was dedicated to his family and the company – a man of good nature, humor and honesty. His focus was always on doing the right thing."
HDT was the flagship of the Hutchinsons’ Newport Communications Group, which acquired or started additional successful trucking magazines, marketing programs, radio, and events prior to its sale in 2012 to Bobit Business Media. Hutchinson said in the announcement of the sale, "Newport has always concentrated on serving the heavy-truck industry with editorial excellence and premier marketing services. We know that Bobit will use its highly successful publishing expertise to build on those strengths."