Wish You Well

Following a restructuring of the woodworking team by our parent company, three people have elected to leave the company. October 15 will be the last day as part of the F+W woodworking community for Robert Lang, Glen Huey and Chuck Bender.

I, along with the rest of their co-workers, thank them for the excellent work they’ve done for Popular Woodworking Magazine and the F+W woodworking community, and wish them well in their next ventures (and I’ve invited all three of them to write for us as contributors, so perhaps you’ll continue to see their work in our pages).

As far as the magazine, videos, online education, conference, books and more produced under the Popular Woodworking umbrella, nothing will significantly change (though of course, I’ll have to find some new woodworking co-workers with whom to argue the correct spelling of “moulding,” among other things). We’ll continue to share with you the best woodworking techniques, step-by-step instruction, projects and more you’ve come to expect, and continue to bring you inspiration from the likes of Roy Underhill, Toshio Odate, Jeff Miller, Frank Klausz, Mary May, Christopher Schwarz, Don Williams, Darrell Peart, Michael Dunbar, Mario Rodriguez and more (including some exciting contributors new to the Popular Woodworking community).

Again, I wish Bob, Glen and Chuck well in their future endeavors, and I know you do, too (click on their names above to let them know).

— Megan Fitzpatrick

100 thoughts on “Wish You Well

  1. 8iowa

    Megan:
    Obviously magazines are a tough business and the internet has changed things considerably.
    Will the WIA’s continue?

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Of course! Seeing people work in person and being able to ask them questions – and just hang out with like-minded folk – is so important!

      Our conference planner is, in fact, checking out next year’s site early next week (and as long as the space looks appropriate, we will have a signed contract and announcement shortly thereafter).

  2. aesigler

    I have been a long time subscriber to many woodworking rags for the past 25 years while over the past couple years I have dropped one subscription after another until just FWW and PWW were left. I admit that I am now on the fence as to whether I will continue with my subscription with PWW into the future.
    I have anjoyed the writing personalities and skills of most of the people at PWW. Especially the three who are now embroiled in this unfortunate situation. It was their teaching of “why” it should be done like so, not just “do it like this with out explanation” that has kept me as a loyal subscriber. I do also enjoy reading other contributors and FWW filled that requirement for me.
    To me reading the works of these three gents month after month at PWW allowed me to become very comfortable with their writing styles and even with their thinking to some extent. These were my permanant teachers and I learn better and enjoy it more when I have the same teachers over and over. A substitue teacher peaks my interest at times but I know they are here today and gone tomorrow. I enjoy continuity, familiarity, and substantance and these three fellows filled that requirement for me.
    I will be following them on their new journey and certainly wish them well and much success.
    I will also watch PWW with guarded interest although I sense that PWW may become a smaller version of FWW which then results in nothing new to the market.

  3. Shawn Nichols

    Megan,

    Just a quick question: who, if anyone, is going to look into the maker community effort now that Bob Lang is leaving? Do you know if this will be continued? I just signed up my club last week and I’m wondering where it’ll end up.
    Thanks,
    Shawn

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Shawn – I’m on it. I’ve long been wanting to offer a school and makerspace listing. Might take me a week or two to circle back to it, but yes! It will indeed be continued.

  4. chpcrvr

    Hi Megan,

    I for one would much rather see high quality articles from a variety of authors like the ones you mentioned (eg; Roy Underhill, Toshio Odate, Jeff Miller, Frank Klausz, Mary May, Christopher Schwarz, Don Williams, Darrell Peart, Michael Dunbar, Mario Rodriguez) than articles from the same people over and over again. The issue will be to recruit and obtain the level of articles you need over the long haul. I hope you are able to do this. There are many expert woodworkers and tool makers out there for you to choose from. Good luck!
    Jeff Fleisher

  5. rackjack

    I just signed up for a two year subscription. Those guys are the reason I subscribed. Is it possible to cancel and get a prorated reimbursement?

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      I have some awfully well-known and highly respected craftsmen and craftswomen lined up for articles; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if only you’ll stick around to find out. But we’ve always offered a refund on unmailed issues. You can call customer service (there’s a link at the bottom of the page) and they’ll take care of that for you.

  6. Jay Elton

    I’ve been sad to see some of the decisions made by F+W over the past few years. However, go the page below for a more informative post. I don’t think these three guys will die a painful death, but have a rebirth. So on we go – with or without PW – who cares, as long as we have some of our favorite mentors for guidance.

    “http://woodworkersedge.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/what-happened-at-popular-woodworking/”

  7. Robert W. Lang

    Over the last few years it has become obvious that the values we have for the craft of woodworking, creating and marketing content, and relations with the audience are not shared by the management of Popular Woodworking and its parent company. When you realize that the boat you’re on isn’t ever going to sail in the direction you want to go to, it is best to get off. And, as when any relationship comes to an end, the public discussion of the details serves no purpose.

    There is enough spin and speculation online regarding our departure to warrant a response. To clarify, we resigned our positions as a team and going forward we will be working together as a team. Our decision to leave was not a hasty one, it came after a year and a half of discussing our concerns regarding the brand’s editorial direction and marketing policies with management at all levels of the company. The “restructuring” occurred several months ago, with the departure of Kevin Ireland. While that was a factor, it was not the sole cause. While we have been asked to submit contributions in the future, none of us has accepted that invitation.
    We want to thank each and every one of our readers who have taken the time to express their appreciation for our work. We are honored, humbled and dedicated to living up to the things you have said about us. We have decided to move on and we hope that those who enjoy our work will find the next phase of our careers as interesting and exciting as we do. We can be found online at 360woodworking.com and if you visit the site, you will be in the front row as our plans unfold.

    — Bob Lang, Glen Huey & Chuck Bender

  8. mvflaim

    Best of luck to those three guys. Hopefully they’ll land on their feet. Speaking of former contributors, whatever happened to Adam Cherubini?

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Adam’s day job is keeping him completely out of the shop, and completely out of spare time for writing.

  9. JimDeL

    And another WW magazine is on its way to oblivion. First American Woodworker, after being dumbed down, is ‘absorbed’ then three of the best PWW contributors are going away. I’m guessing the AWW staff is replacing them, thus further dumbing down PWW, and soon it too will go away.

    Lotsa luck, Megan. Better start updating that resumé!

  10. bradleyhall

    Megan – Has there ever been a better opportunity to go n and demand a raise? 🙂 You must have thick skin with the personal attacks coming from a few of the responders.

    And best wishes to Chuck, Glen and Bob. I own books by both Bob and Glen. I have met Chuck and Glen in person at various woodworking shows over the years. I will miss their contributions to PW. I’m only guessing by reading thru the lines, that it’s more economical to pay or contract for content and articles than it is to pay salary and benefits for staff to provide the same. I don’t like changes and like many people have dealt with forced changes myself, but you gotta move on.

    One thing I really don’t understand is why FW would purchase another magazine and shut it down?

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Thick skin=lots of bourbon, right? 😉

      And to answer your question re AW – we didn’t just buy that magazine, FW acquired New Track Media, which had a large portfolio of niche publications that fit with the many “enthusiast” brands of FW (e.g. art, writing, knitting, quilting, graphic design…and myriad others). The vast majority of the (former) New Track brands are robust, but after a long, hard look at AW, it was determined that subscriber numbers, advertising income, etc, simply weren’t strong enough to keep offering it.

      1. BobStev

        Seems like a thick skin is required in the woodworking editorial area, I recall Asa from Fine Woodworking took a beating when he suggested that woodworking teachers should know what they are doing. Now it seems to be your turn. I imagine that you have essentially no say in the corporate decisions that happen to publications under the FW label but you seem to be taking a beating here anyway for things that you can’t control. For what it’s worth I think you’re doing a good job in a tough business. Bourbon or beer, whichever makes the pain go away.

  11. Rob Porcaro

    By the way, what will become of Woodwork magazine? This had been a bimonthly for years, then got downsized to an annual issue when it went under the American Woodworker umbrella. It has been an excellent publication, a favorite of many woodworkers. Tom Caspar always did a great job with it. Any word on the magazine or Tom?

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Rob, I really don’t know. I love that magazine, too, and have many issues of it on my desk. If I can figure out a way to bring it back and make it viable, I will.

  12. gman3555

    First, good luck to these gentlemen regardless of the why.

    Second, I think PW deserves the chance to show what these changes are going to mean for the magazine that receive. It’s important for the craft that we all love that publications like PW continue to exist. Lets not cut off our noses to spite our faces here. I can not imagine the difficult task of straddling the print and digital world with a topic as wide ranging as woodworking. Hand tools, power tools, simple weekend projects to complex furniture. Not to mention a demographic that ranges from teens to seniors, all with different levels of skills and familiarity with the digital format.

    I say we take a collective breath and separate what we speculate happened to cause these gentlemen to exit from the future of PW. Then allow PW to show us where they are taking this publication.

    Megan, please make a concerted effort to keep us, the consumer, informed as to what we should expect to see in the coming future. I wish you luck as well.

    Greg

    1. rustythebailiff

      here, here, gman. Let’s not be hasty. Change is the one thing that is constant in this universe. To assume that PW is going down the tubes just because three very talented men have decided to go in a different direction is short sighted. The quality in PW has maintained over the years despite changes in staff, so it’s not improbable that it won’t continue to do so. This sort of thing happens all the time, without ill effects. So, let’s keep our eyes open, and not judge things just yet.

      So, good luck to Robert, Glen, and Chuck, may your new adventures prove fruitful. And to the entire PW staff, keep up the good work.

  13. beech1948

    A regrettable event and one which has created much negative and pointed responses. What to expect next I wonder.?

    How about Robert Lang, Glen Huey and Chuck Bender and Chris Schwarz form their own on-line magazine. Lets see, theres some editing experience, theres 100+ years of woodwork knowledge, there a sound and appreciated style of presentation and there are many thousands of loyal followers.

    Hmmmmmmm?
    Al

  14. BLZeebub

    C’est la vie est la guerre! PW is the only other woodworking mag I have consistently subscribed to for the past ten years. Adding it to that other woodworking pub with the initials FWW which I have subscribed to for twenty. I almost ended my sub with them when they downsized the mag due to concerns over the printer’s ability to keep producing the “odd” sized magazine. The content has stayed first rate and so I’m still a subscriber. While paper size is one thing, contributor size is another kind of knish indeed.

    Megan, I do not envy your position. I appreciate the discomfiture you must be experiencing. This sort of rearrangement is always disruptive and sometimes deadly. But, such is the purview of higher-ups to shake things up dissatisfied with (or ignorant of) the success that PW has built.

    As an addendum, I was a faithful subscriber to AWW as long as it was a Rodale publication. With the first issue under new ownership, I knew I would not hang around. The first thing I noticed was the near total lack of credible authorship. They had gutted the masthead. Also, they used “models” in the articles instead of the authors trying to attract new and younger readers. BIG MISTAKE. We in the woodworking community want our gurus REAL, warts and all. There’s enough fakery and pseudo-expertise bandied about nowadays (think: Fox News), what we want is the real deal, dirty fingers, saw dust in their hair and shavings on the floor.

    Keep it real, Megan and I’ll keep my subscription. Deal? Deal. Bon chance, mon ami.

  15. pmac

    Let’s see what evolves. We may end up with the guys still contributing along with a bunch of other people. I just hope Megan is given the resources to make the new model (what ever it is) work.

  16. Jon

    This is not good for the future of this magazine. And really awful business too – you (F’n W) just bring in two of these guys with lots of talent and a track record of excellent projects and articles, and then fire them! After they had committed to your company and moved, left their previous jobs.
    Same goes for Bob Lang too, although he has been with the magazine continuously for far longer.
    It won’t be long before we start seeing article for making plywood lawn deer, I think. And ugly dressers made of plain sawn red oak on the cover

  17. RunningBear

    I had just renewed my subscription and now I want my money back. I feel that I paid for the privilege to read good articles from the these fine craftsmen only to be duped for Lord knows what. I agree with ronhowes, the publication has gone down hill, I hope sometime soon we can get the truth of what has happened to this publication. My guess is that they either gutted it for max profit or more likely, it is going under. What a shame. How do I get my money back?

  18. woodworkerkaty

    I just started a subscription for PopWood recently. PopWood is is my start up page on my browser and is the first thing I look at as to what is going on at PopWood today. Actualy it is on my second computer as well.
    I enjoyed the articles and the writers especially the old guys, being one myself. Chris left to go on his own and now that Bob, Glen and Chuck elected to leave (or be told to leave), I am now sure that I will not bother to renew. So to the old guys, enjoy the days ahead and keep on working(wood that is).

  19. dknott

    Ever since Woodworking Magazine folded, Popular Woodworking has been the only magazine I have subscribed to. I still miss WM, and the devotion to its readership (a deliberate choice of words), and the bottom-line belief in making the world a better place, one joint at a time.
    Fast-forward a couple years to the time when Chris Schwarz took a deep breath and headed out on his own. My mailbox still misses his industrious, insightful research and breezy, straightforward, in-your-face writing style that initially attracted me to the magazines. (Of course, I now get my Schwarz-fixes via my computer, but it’s not quite the same.)
    Fast-forward a couple years to this morning. I am saddened to hear the news from southern Ohio that Bob, Glen, and Chuck are pulling up stakes and heading out (even though Chuck’s stakes were barely IN the ground in the first place).
    However, I’m not yet ready to pull up my own stakes at this point. I’ll give those who remain on-board–and those yet to come aboard–time to make the magazine work. Am I optimistic? No. Am I hopeful? Yes.
    To Bob, Glen, and Chuck: please know you’ll truly be missed.
    To Megan and the rest of the crew: the future is squarely on your shoulders. Your decisions will dictate whether PW again assumes the position as leader in the woodworking magazine business…or whether it withers away to a whimpering, online wanna-be. (Full disclosure: I’m computer-literate, but print-oriented…and probably won’t change anytime soon.)
    Finally, a question to Megan: did you use the term, “new 21st-century content company,” in your initial post on this subject? If so, why was it changed?

      1. dknott

        NOW I remember where I saw it! You used it in your answer to bob_easton: “We restructured to meet the needs of a 21st-century content company…” For some reason (here comes the sarcasm), I thought I was a subscriber to “Popular Woodworking Magazine,” NOT “Popular Woodworking 21st-Century Content Company.”

        1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

          S’ok; I’m good w/sarcasm. The focus of the print magazine is not changing; you will continue to see work by and about top-level craftsmen and craftswomen, and expert techniques and tool instruction. We will continue to offer a wide variety of furniture styles and approaches to making them. What I mean by “21st-century” is that in addition to the print magazine (and the digital version), we also produce more than 30 videos each year to deliver on DVD and in our online streaming service (one person has been doing that, and it’s simply too much for one person), a line of books (for whom we’d not had a dedicated editor for some time) that are also delivered in print and digitally, online education, the conference and more. In other words, the Woodworking Team is not just the magazine – though that is the core of the brand, and will continue to be so. And if you’ll give me and the new team – whatever it looks like in a few months – the chance, I know you’ll see that.

  20. Matt_Rob

    Heracltus “Change is the only constant in life.” So begins another chapter in the magazines evolution. I welcome it with open arms and await the product put forth. Thank you Editor Megan Fitzpatrick for being so being transparent with the personnel changes. Having attended your class during WIA 2014 on how the magazine works I believe you to be most interested in moving this publication forward. I am not at all concerned that even if the next issues cover has a cat in a cupboard the inside will go into great detail how to build this beautiful cupboard sans cat. I have bought this magazine since back when it was making doilies with a scroll saw.I continue to buy it because the magazine is about woodworking and that is what I like to do in my spare time.I like to believe that as the magazine has changed to a more hand tool skill building focus I may have benefited by reading along.
    Thanks

  21. 7-Thumbs

    100’s of pieces of feedback from readers and no response from the upper echelons of management offering even a meager glimpse into what is going on. Corporate cowards hiding behind poor Megan’s skirt.

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      I usually wear jeans (in the spring, fall and winter, anyway). But to be serious: This is about the F+W woodworking community, and I am content director thereof; I wouldn’t expect anyone above me to step in, nor should they. It is part of my job to take the slings and arrows (sting though they may). It is also my job to prove to you that said slings and arrows are in many cases unwarranted (the Shakespeare…well, I’ll cop to that one). I hope you’ll give me and the PW team — whatever it may look like a month or two from now — the chance to do that.

      1. Gareth00

        JUMPED NOT PUSHED! Indeed Megan, you all deserve that chance. I’ve read the acrimonious comments here with dismay and as to the moaning from 7-thumbs that the “management” should explain themselves here, it’s more relevant to expect that Huey, Bender and Lang should use this forum to explain why they feel it’s okay to abandon their project with little or no apparent consideration for their faithful readership and to explain to all these outraged cheerleaders why they see their future elsewhere and what they intend to do for their vocal constituency. In short, some of the slings and arrows should be pointed in their direction.

  22. drice847

    Seems like a very strange move by the folks at Popular Woodworking. Especially since they just purchased the now “defunked” American Woodworker magazine. The only reason I know this is like my subscription to PopWoodworking and my subscription to American Woodworker come due around at the same time. I received my check back in the mail from American Woodworker with a letter telling me of the magazine was going out of business with the release of Oct 2014 issue. Soon after I found out Popular Woodworking purchased the magazine. Wonder whats going on? Hope the best for Popular Woodworking, it is by far my favorite WW magazine out there and I’ve always thought they were leaders in the industry. I like FWW magazine but its just to “fine” for me and my taste. I also hope PWW does not quit printing the magazine and go 100 percent digital, I like my “real” magazines and am just not ready to give them up. Megan I wish you the best of luck, and I hope nothing but the best to Chuck, Glen and Robert. I hope to see them in the pages of PWW soon.

  23. woodworkjay

    Don’t give up on printed media, as some of us prefer the printed page to an electronic reader. I only hope I can continue to see their projects among the mix in the “new 21st-century content company”.

    Having taken independent workshops with both Bob and Glen, as well as having sat in on WIA presentations from all three of them, I will miss their practicality, insight, and depth of knowledge as it relates to the craft and art of woodworking. I know their futures will be bright, and filled with wonderful opportunities.

  24. DocK55

    ” A restructuring?!” A lot like the “restructuring of Berlin by Allied bombers at the close of WW II. Sixty plus years of woodworking and publishing experience gone overnight. It’s like a bad joke, I don’t get it. I feel sorry for Chuck who closed his private business to come on board just a few short months ago. It’s going to be interesting to see the content of the next few issues and if it will be worth renewing my subscription. WWIA ?

    1. amoscalie

      My thought exactly about seeing what the content will be in the new few issues. My decision lays in wait about renewing my subscription.

      Just remember the definition of a bean counter; “It’s a person that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.” Those of you that are left better update your resumes.

      1. gwearne

        Um…you know, I don’t think I’m the only “bean counter” who’s also a woodworker. I’m not sure how this discussion got to the point of bashing my chosen profession. The final decision makers aren’t usually the bean counters. Best of luck to all.

  25. dmac4870

    Best wishes to the guys….it’s a shame.

    For Megan, hang in there. I, for one, enjoy the dead English authors and the cats; though I’m more of a dog person myself.

    For the commentors out there, I’m a little disappointed in how the remarks are turning so negative and personal. We should all try to keep a little more to the high road, as my mother often said.

    Cheers,
    Derek

  26. Amos

    Dang,
    That is as bad as obama firing most of the generals who know something about fighting. Who is the big boss now running the show? What is his/her agenda? Maybe moving more into the Plugged in Shop?
    Besides Chris and Steve those were the best guys you ever had.

    Dang!

    1. Dave Ring

      Look on the bright side, guys. After F+W brings in a crew of replacements, we can look forward to lots of fresh material about woodworking in Bangladesh and China.

  27. chetkloss

    This is a sad day for PopWood. For me the magazine has been less and less relevant for some time now. As much as might like dead English authors, I never liked the feeling of them being shoved in my face. Further, I feel the magazine only tolerated the idea that some folks might use power tools from time to time.
    If I had to guess I’d say PopWood will go with a magazine style closer to Fine Woodworking – one where they do not have regular writers but rely on guest contributors. There is nothing wrong with that but they’ll have a long road to run to keep up with the quality of Fine Woodworking.
    For me, Bob Lang and Glen Huey were the best of the woodworking community. They combined power tools and hand tools without having label what type of woodworking they were doing (and they rarely if ever quoted Shakespeare.)
    Chuck Bender, though newer to the magazine, was absolutely first class.
    I sincerely hope that PopWood is successful in the future. I want more sources – not less.

  28. JohnH

    For years I kept all of the editions of PW magazine. Then somewhat over a year ago I started tossing the magazines after a quick read, finding nothing compelling to cause me to save them. I looked back at some of my past issues, 5 – 10 years old and older and realized how far the magazine had slipped. I finally just let my subscription lapse but still get the blogs; unfortunately these reinforce my decision to leave the magazine behind.

    Now, as I read what’s happening I just shake my head. It’s like an old friend is passing on. When a woodworking magazine fires all of its employees with woodworking experience, the end is near. I don’t mean to slight Megan but it was only yesterday that she was learning to build a box and hold a plane.

    Too bad, I’m truly sorry I was correct in my assessment.

  29. jofww

    I guess changes were inevitable with the inclusion of American WW magazine, but I didn’t expect this. There’s got to be close to 100 years woodworking experience among those three guys. A sad day for the magazine.

  30. Cliff

    All together now: it is clear that the readers who subscribe to the Magazine do not matter! Sad, very sad indeed!

  31. ChrisJ

    This change probably bothers me more than it should but after my father, this magazine and its writer/craftsmen like Robert, Chuck and Glen are most responsible for my growth as a woodworker and for my passion and deeper understanding of the craft. I know that I have a great deal more to learn from these guys and I can only hope that they find new venues to share their knowledge and curiosity with the larger woodworking community. I simply cannot understand why a corporation would put their ‘A’ list staff in a position that forces them out the door. The woodworking ethos that I derive from this magazine is that history and tradition matter and that taking the time and effort to do a job the right way is always superior to the latest new fangled shortcut jig. This move stands seems to be in direct conflict with that philosophy.

    So the the new guard at F+W: I think that you can clearly hear from this community that your brand has been significantly damaged. Take the recent lessons from JCPenney to heart here as some missteps are ultimately irreversible. And to Megan: Good luck and hang in there. Hopefully you can help to steer this ship back on course.

  32. ronhowes

    OMG! I was so upset when I read this that I didn’t realize that Bender is also ‘leaving.’ This magazine is history! There is no one left who knows anything about woodworking.

  33. ronhowes

    It’s incredible to watch the tailspin this magazine is in. For all his idiosyncrasies, Chris Schwarz guided this publication to its height. After his departure we witnessed a series of unbelievable events beginning with Steve Shanesy’s debate over the pros and cons of chopping up an early Moser original to fit into his new apartment; Dan’s (online editor), 3 month chronicle of his Adirondack chair build, and his journey of buying a workmate and plastic containers for his tools. Then there is Megan, with her pretentious old English writing style, featuring cat silhouettes on her tool chest. By her own admission she is relatively new to woodworking, so how does she deserve to be featured on the cover of this magazine – a plate rack at that; or lecturing at the Woodworking in America conference?! My guess is that Chris has leveraged his influence for ongoing support on the magazine – it’s clear he is all they have left. All the true craftsman, except for Bender are gone. I’m sure he will be next. As a subscriber – I’m gone too!

    1. jpurl1971

      Respectfully, I see your judging of who is and who isn’t a craftsman as…oh, what is the word I am looking for…ah, yes….pretentious. I hope I am wrong, but I take your post as poo-pooing upon the journeys of young woodworkers or those who are new to the craft. I see Dan’s posts as letting those new to the hobby see you don’t need a full kit and dedicated shop to create. Maybe he is approaching the craft from a different perspective than a master craftsman such as yourself. Finally, your attacks upon Megan are personal and demonstrate an obvious lack of cognitive abilities. For centuries, craftsmen have personalized their tool chests and yet you take umbrage with Megan doing so. Are fine veneers and intricate inlays the only way one can personalize a tool chest? Should the only projects gracing the cover of a magazine be crafted by named artisans? If so, then it conflicts with the title “Popular Woodworking” which suggests projects for the masses. Your insinuation that the only reason Megan has progressed or worse, is around, is due to Chris’ continued support to the publication is demeaning and bordering upon being misogynistic.

  34. William Lohr

    Careers evolve. Lives go forward. As with each issue, sometimes I like every article, and sometimes not. So, I hope in earnest that Glen, Bob and Chuck continue to prosper and that I see their names in print again soon. For Megan, I hope you as well are able to guide the ship through the rough waters; you have my support.

    To the owners of this magazine, I hope you know what you’re doing. That seems questionable without more info.

    We are in the middle to a marvelous resurgence in woodworking with classes and equipment. I hope it continues.

    All the best,
    William

  35. quietobserver

    All the best to Bob, Glen and Chuck! Thank you for all you have shared with us over the years. As many have noted, there has been a disturbing trend over the last few years that has been palpable. I know that the corporation is looking at the bottom line and publishing trends but one would think somewhere in the back offices of the basement cubicles is someone who is asking weather the decision makers understand the customer or even know who the customer is. I subscribe to one magazine and its future is now in question. Maybe it is time for PW, et al, to be purchased by someone who cares about the craft and will make the sacrifices to see it go. I am retired military and fully understand the disconnect between decision makers and those they pretend to serve.

  36. Big Red

    Not to interrupt all the Schwarz and Megan worship here, but isn’t it possible that those three guys rebelled against what they perceived as poor or at least misguided leadership? The quality of PW has steadily gone downhill over the last few years, and all the brazen arrogance from the editor’s page has set the condescending tone for the other pages. I was never crazy to have Schwarz lead them down the rabbit hole that is medieval woodworking, but I always tried to find nuggets of worth in the articles. Sure, I would love to see the fancy literature quotes go away in favor of actual woodworking advice or tips, but with an admitted literature geek running the ship, that’s not going to happen. I just hope the three guys find a happy place where they can indulge their creative woodworking skills without having to kiss the queen’s toes. And when the PW brass realize their last ship is sinking, hopefully they’ll get back to doing actual woodworking that their readers want.

  37. bthompson10

    I read your magazine for three reasons and free three reasons only. reason number one Bob. reason number two Glen. reason number three Chuck.
    I also have three reason to stop reading the magazine. I’ll let the rocket scientist senior management figure out what those reasons are.
    I believe, in the not-too-distant future ,Bob, Glen and Chuck will be doing something that the entire woodworking community and will be very thankful for this new opportunity.
    Bill

  38. Greg Jones

    I join the others here in wishing nothing but the best for Glen, Chuck, and Bob in their future endeavors. They are extremely talented woodworkers and writers, as well as humble and personable. ‘Good people’ is the term I’d use to describe them.

    As for F+W and Popular Woodworking, I have seen what I perceived to be ‘curious’ decisions the past few years, starting with the departure of the extremely talented Linda Watts. I understand the print communications business model has been turned upside down in just a few years, and companies need to find a way to survive…

    However, across the industry there appears to be a trend to value less the skills and knowledge to ‘do the work’, while placing greater value on social media skills to ‘talk about doing the work’. While the latter can be engaging, as well as educational, placing an emphasis on the medium over content is curious to me. Megan, I hope there is a positive outcome in all of this for you. May we live in interesting times.

  39. Buildinggeek

    For many (many, many, many) years I’ve had the habit of going to the magazine rack every few months and picking up a copy of every woodworking magazine to see who’s doing what. Of course there used to be a lot more, but I digress. Over the years Popular Woodworking went from a “flip through, into the recycle bin” to a “Hmm, interesting”, to a “Where’s the subscription card”.
    This magazine is currently one of two I subscribe to. Along with Fine Woodworking it’s head and shoulders above the rest. Really.
    As others have said the tea leaves are not looking good. I really hope we are collectively wrong, but I doubt it.
    Thanks to Bob, Glenn and Chuck for the good work and the fun over the years. I hope you’ll soon find a comfortable landing spot and the joy of doing good work and sharing it. My respect for each of you is immense.
    Megan, you have a tough job rebuilding your staff. I sincerely wish you well with that too. I’ll continue reading. I don’t mind change, but I have come to expect a quality magazine every couple of months. I know you’ll do your best to deliver that. I hope you will have the resources you need for that job.

    Bill Smith

  40. vandyke26

    So sorry to loose them. Restructuring is always so hard on everyone. Trying to survive is the way of so many companies. I wish them the best.
    Thank you

  41. rootertooter

    Good by old friends, I will miss yall. Now this is a sorry day in the woodworking world.

  42. CessnapilotBarry

    I’m going to miss my three favorite PW authors! They’ve put a forest of fantastic information out there. Not only are they incredibly skilled craftsmen, but all three are are gifted in the way they transfer the knowledge to us, with terrific clarity and no BS.

    I hope all three quickly find new opportunities. I’ll think about them every time I browse my home library, successfully use Sketchup, or work at my 21st Century bench.

    Thanks, guys! I’ll be looking for your future work.

  43. robert

    So… F W now owns Popular Woodworking, American Woodworker, Woodwork, Woodworking, and will continue to publish only one of those? So… for the one they will continue to publish – they just gutted the staff? Bender just closed his shop, moved 1/3 of the way across the country, and is now leaving ‘voluntarily’? Huey just came back to run American Woodworker, which then got folded into PWW, and he is now leaving ‘voluntarily’? Lang who has been at PWW forever is now leaving ‘voluntarily’? I detect a distinct odor.

    Not sure why corporations can’t just say “You know what? We decided to shit can all of our best employees, will be outsourcing everything possible, will be doubling or tripling the workload of the poor bastards who we deigned to keep for one more quarter, will be giving nice bonuses to the pencil-necked managers who implemented this, and ownership will be immediately adding on an orangery to our country home.” That would be at least refreshing.

  44. rwlasita

    Best of luck to Robert, Chuck, and Glen, I’m sure they will resurface some where in the woodworking world. Megan, best wishes to you, you’re job just got tougher. I for one will not renew my subscription, like Don, I’ll see what direction the corporate geniuses sail this ship, I’m betting over the edge of the earth.

  45. Rob Porcaro

    I doubt we’ll ever know the real situation behind Megan’s understandably guarded words but it’s hard to imagine it was particularly pretty. In the end, the important thing is how these corporate capers affect the lives of the people involved. So, to Bob, Chuck, and Glen, first thank you for your great contributions to the craft we all love. In one form or another, I’ll bet there is much more that we’ll see arise from the incredible talents that you guys possess. Great respect and best wishes to you and yours.

    Keep on making things.

  46. 61chrysler

    Restructuring creates new positions with different responsibilities.

    Based on my corporate experience, “insulting” maybe hidden somewhere in that statement. To me, that is encouraging people to leave.

    I guess we will speculate until we hear the complete story.

  47. gumpbelly

    Wow, talk about choices to torpedo what was once the best of the best. First Teauge, then Ireland, 2 of the best torpedo’s known to the publishing world. Congratulations to the owners. Glen, Bob, Chuck, I wish you the best. Megan, hope you are a good swimmer, because the water suddenly got deep, and you are far from shore.

  48. don2laughs

    I got another of those naggers to renew my subscription, been getting them for several months and my subscription doesn’t expire ’til Feb 2015. I was about to send an email asking why the hell pressure me to renew six months before expiration. Guess this is a good explanation. Glad I didn’t bite! I love Megan to pieces but the mag just lost over a hundred years of woodworking experience and expertise in some critical areas of interest to most of the woodworkers I know. Gotta see how this plays out before I renew.
    Wonder if the Schwarz will chime in……
    As for luck…..Robert, Chuck and Glen are some of the most talented folks in the field! They don’t need luck but I, certainly, convey my hope that they each find this to be the best thing to happen for them this decade. There is something to be said for earning your freedom from the control of forces you are at odds with.
    I bet Chris would welcome the opportunity to publish anything you author.
    WhattaDay,

    Don

  49. jeffreyi

    Thanks for everything, guys. I’ve much enjoyed your articles, books, videos, and WIA classes, and have always benefited from your expertise. May your fortunes be auspicious and may your handshakes be golden.

  50. Bryan Robinson

    Good grief, what a shock this is. I wish Bob, Glen and Chuck the very best. I have learned much from each of you through the magazine.

  51. Jason

    “Following a restructuring”, three of the editors decide to leave? This honestly sounds a bit like an ethics issue, or possibly a ‘we don’t like where this is going’ issue. I’ve been there, albeit in the hotel industry. When the hotel I worked was bought by another national chain, a “restructuring” occurred. In a ‘transition meeting’ half our department staff (about 30 of us) looked at each other, looked at management and the next day, en masse, we submitted our resignations.

    I wish all of the departing editors well.

    If what Megan is saying sounds like corporate rhetoric, well, she has a mortgage and bills to pay. When we work for a corporation and have need our jobs, sometimes we have to play the game and say what ‘they’ tell us to say. I’ve been there too. All that aside, we’re unlikely to ever know what’s happened and all we can do is speculate. I’d prefer to give the benefit of the doubt, especially to Megan who’s between the proverbial rock and a hard place right now. Hang in there Megan.

  52. tpobrienjr

    I hope this isn’t self-destruction. I, too, have spent years in big companies, and this kind of thing isn’t pleasant or pretty. I wish Bob, Chuck, and Glen the very best, and I hope to see more of their superb work on the pages of PW.
    I also hope this isn’t part of a general decline in viability of woodworking magazines. I would have bet that PW was one of the strongest, but I’m not much of a gambler. I’ll continue reading and subscribing, with the hope that PW is on the way up!

  53. autumndoucet

    I agree: it’s a punch in the gut to hear this news, and we will miss Glen, Bob and Chuck — REALLY miss them — but this magazine isn’t the only one in the woodworking community to go through changes in its editorial staff over the years. The publishing world is not static; changes in mastheads are a regular occurrence (I just typed and deleted a long list of them from a rival publication). I, for one, will stick with Popular Woodworking until the content gives me reason to do otherwise. Megan, you are doing a great job.

  54. JimC

    Megan,this looks EXACTLY like what happened when Readers Digest purchased American Woodworker and I was sorry to see what then happened to what was once a fine magazine. I’m sorry to see such talent leave PW. It is really hard to spin such news in any way that is positive.

  55. DrMikesFan

    The magazine is clearly more than the editorial staff. However, as others have said, it doesn’t sit well that two iof those leaving virtually just arrived. I have personally profited from all three men and own books, DVDs, and/or plans of theirs. Great woodworking professionals. I certainly hope someone fills their able shoes.

    Best wishes and much continued success to Bob, Glen, and Chuck.

    Mark Smith

  56. 7-Thumbs

    My sincere good wishes to those leaving, they will be missed. As another that has worked for a large engineering corporation for over 40 years the story is all too familiar. Some bean counter in the corporate office that has little to no actual background in the company’s business has a great idea that winds up spinning the business into the dust. I hope this doesn’t happen at PW. Also, a word of advice from my years of experience regarding your statement “I promise that’s not going to happen while I’m here”, be careful what you say. If the big mucky mucks what to do something you disagree with, they will do it and you’ll be gone. They won’t blink twice, there is no longer any loyalty to employees. Watch your back.

  57. Matt_Rob

    Well this is somewhat unsettling as it seems that most of the regular content contained is the magazine is the result the leaving employees effort. It looks to me that the magazine business can be somewhat finicky. Wasn’t that long ago it was announced that a new member would be joining the staff as soon as he closes his shop packs stuff up and moves to the Natty. After his arrival and a short amount of time has passed he is announced as the new Editor of a sister publication but then oops the mother ship shoots down the sister publication. Now the mother ship has found a new corporate strategy thinking outside the box with exciting synergy with a dose of lean six sigma thrown in for texture. OUCH .Goodbye to the guys for now I am sure it is not the first time they have faced an untenable situation.
    See you in the funny papers

  58. esbrdn

    I wish them well on their future endeavors, having witnessed a mass exodus of editors and writers from a trade journal that I was involved with for the same reasons mentioned here. I worry that the excellent content currently offered will suffer, as it has at the journal. It is difficult enough to record positive results in the traditional media world but excellent editors draw excellent contributors which then engages the readers.

  59. Bill Lattanzio

    I don’t see how this can be spun as a good thing, and I don’t say that as though somebody is attempting to do that. I would just like to wish all three of those guys the best of luck, and I hope to see more from them in the future.

  60. JimM

    A sad day for Popular Woodworking. I wish Bob, Glen and Chuck well. thank you for sharing your wisdom with all your readers.

  61. ScottJ

    I agree with Bobs comment. Don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain! “Wish you well” ? What’s left here?

  62. ChrisHasFlair

    So Megan…

    Does that mean that this blog will change from the “Popular Woodworking Editors’ Blog” to the “Popular Woodworking Editor’s Blog” (note the apostrophe shift)? Only one smiling face left up there in the banner…

    Chris

  63. bob_easton

    OK. I’ll be the little boy along the parade route who comments on the King’s new duds. What the h____ is going on?

    First a very sincere THANK YOU to Robert, Glen, and Chuck for all they have put into the magazine. Their contributions are remarkable. Thanks guys!

    However, having lived over 40 years in a huge corporation (more than 380,000 employees) it’s easy to recognize “have elected to leave” as meaning they were given the choice of an offer to leave or to leave without the offer. (Yeah, just slightly better than a severed horse’s head at the foot of the bed.)

    When a publisher discards the core of a magazine’s editorial staff, one wonders why and what’s next. I have nothing but the highest regards not only for the people leaving, but all of the contributors Megan mentions. Yet, is it really possible to operate a successful magazine when it is essentially outsourced to occasional contributors?

    At least someone had the good sense to keep one steady head, Megan.

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Bob,
      We restructured to meet the needs of a 21st-century content company and changed some responsibilities, but no content producers on the woodworking team were asked or encouraged to leave. We will miss them and their contributions as part of the staff, but the decision was theirs.

      1. bob_easton

        Sigh!!! What a familiar song to people who have done their time in large corporations. I’m sorry to hear you singing it Megan. I expected better.

        Sleep well.

      2. matbel

        Megan,

        Is there a viable relationship between PWW and a “21st-century content company” that will enable continued high-quality content about 18th to 20th century design and workmanship?
        We all do wish you and the company well.

  64. Daver

    I too wish them well. The trio brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the magazine. Hmm, first a new “Senior Managing Editor” and now a mass exodus of the staff; makes one wonder what’s afoot. I hope we don’t go back to birdhouse plans and cutouts of fat ladies bending over.

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      I promise that’s not going to happen while I’m here; I’ve always preferred the little-boy-holding-the-hose cutout. Seriously – we are not changing the editorial focus.

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