HDT parent company Newport Business Media was recently purchased by Bobit Business Media of Torrance, Calif. Adding Newport's heavy-duty brands (Heavy Duty Aftermarket Journal and Truckinginfo.com in addition to HDT) to Bobit's existing lighter-duty vehicle fleet magazines makes Bobit the largest fleet media company in the world. And, from my perspective, that's pretty exciting.
This is not one of those corporate deals you read about where the new company comes in and cleans house or shuts down titles. HDT is keeping the same deeply knowledgeable editorial team, as well as sales and support staff. Whether you're a fan of Senior Editor Tom Berg's straightforward midrange and trailer coverage, Oliver Patton's legislative and regulatory analysis, Equipment Editor Jim Park's thoroughly researched equipment and driver issues stories or my editorial, oil/lube stories and business features, none of that is going to change.
Kate Miller, who's been president and group publisher of HDT and other Newport Business Media properties (and my boss), will continue to lead those brands as vice president/group publisher-truck within the renamed Bobit FleetGroup. (And she'll still be my boss.)
In fact, having the resources of a larger company at our disposal will allow us to better serve readers' needs.
Last week, I was in Torrance for Bobit's annual Editorial Summit, a day dedicated to education and training sessions aimed at making good editorial staff even better. And let me tell you, during lean times like these, that kind of investment is the exception rather than the rule.
People with experience
These are two companies with a long history. HDT is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, and Bobit celebrated its 50th last year.
HDT began as Western Drayman and Warehouseman. It went through several ownership and name changes before it was bought by the Hutchinson family about 60 years ago. In 1968, Newport Communications (owned by the Hutchinsons) reintroduced it nationally as Heavy Duty Trucking.
The rest, as they say, is history. HDT has won more than 100 national and regional journalism awards, including the coveted Grand Neal from American Business Media, and its staff has long been the most experienced in the industry.
More about Bobit
Like Newport, Bobit is a family-owned company. It got its start in the '60s when Ed Bobit launched a new magazine for companies operating light-duty fleets, Automotive Fleet.
Today, Bobit produces 24 B-to-B magazines and websites and 12 industry trade shows and conferences. In addition to Automotive Fleet, it publishes titles such as Government Fleet, Work Truck, Green Fleet and Business Fleet. There's also Modern Tire Dealer, which I've often looked to for the latest in the world of truck tires. Events include the Green Fleet conference and the new Fleet Safety Conference.
"HDT is the most recognized and honored magazine in the commercial vehicle field, and Truckinginfo.com is the number one website in trucking," said President and CEO Ty Bobit in making the announcement. "We're thrilled to have these quality properties, along with their experienced staff, as part of our company."