I started with Primedia (the former corporate owners of Truckin') in the Summer of 2004. Immediately prior to taking the job, I was working for a business-to-business publishing company in the South Bay area near Los Angeles. While the job was comfortable and stable, being a family-owned company, and with the dramatically lower proportional distribution of B2B media versus consumer, I felt like I needed to move on to something bigger.
So I was browsing the online classifieds, and came across a posting for Online Editor of Motor Trend. At least on paper, I met most of the qualifications for the position. I applied, and surprisingly, got a response back. They seemed interested, and wanted to meet with me and interview. I was very excited. After all, Motor Trend was one of the most prestigious and well-recognized brands in automotive publishing.
But only minutes into my initial interview, I realized that I was going to get something a little different than I originally expected. The interviewer said they were going to put me in the Truck Group. Perhaps he saw my experience writing for and serving as managing editor of a truck accessory trade magazine. It certainly wasn't the car I was driving, which at the time (and until a few days ago) was a Mazda Protege 5.
Even though it wasn't my ideal position, I accepted, since I knew it was a foot in the door to the largest automotive publisher in the business. Ironically enough, about three years earlier, I resigned my position as tech editor of an import tuning enthusiast magazine in search of greener pastures. The greater irony is that the title I had originally worked for (which had since changed names yet again) was now owned by the company I was going (back) to work for.
Since I started, I have worked under two different corporate owners, and three different divisional structures. Mind you, my title and position did not change this whole time. I've been through a lot, seen a lot, and done quite a bit in that time. Today, as I'm about to take on a new role in another office, I feel that despite not being "one of the guys" of the inner circle of truck enthusiast editors, that the sites are better than they have been for many years. Certainly in terms of page views, and measurable metrics of performance they are. I can't take full credit, as there have been some back-end technological improvements that have certainly helped boost the numbers.
I hand over the sites and my group to two very capable team members, Jason Gonderman and Monica Thompson. Two legitimate truck enthusiasts. Each of them own two trucks each, one each a daily driver, and one a custom. In Jason's case, an extensively modified off-road Ford Ranger, and Monica, a chopped & dropped Chevy S10. Simply put, there's no way I could compete with that level of credibility. You will be in good hands, and will probably notice very little change to your day-to-day interaction and experience with the site and community.
In the final twist of irony, my new job is with...Motor Trend. I am starting in the position of News Director for motortrend.com on Monday. My round-trip commute is increasing from 20 to 100 miles a day. But like so many things in life that are worth anything, sometimes require sacrifice. Although a long commute in notorious Southern California traffic is not exactly my idea of fun, the opportunity to finally realize a long-sought professional goal and childhood dream, was too good to pass up. I wish all of you the best, and remember to keep on Truckin'.
- Edward A. Sanchez
Senior Web Producer, Truck Group