Marcia and Husband Richie (right) with Gary and Susan Shapiro
I hate the word “retired.” Please don’t say that word in my presence. It sounds so stupid. When I hear someone say, “I’m retired,” I can only think of “I’m retarded.” And you are retarded if you think you are retired. There is no such thing. We all have daily responsibilities and personal work to do. What’s the difference what the work is, you still have to do it. You would only be retired if you were strapped to a bed and didn’t get up to do something.
I would rather you say “I left my job because I finally got smart and I don’t want to work for those assholes anymore.” That would be so much more honest. As we get older, we get wiser.
The other day, I received a press release announcing “Marcia Grand Retires From TWICE.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. Marcia is the self proclaimed Queen of the Consumer Electronics industry, and even though I have been around a wee bit longer, I second it. Marcia was the Publisher of TWICE magazine, a leading consumer electronics trade publication. She worked at TWICE for 27 years, and everyone in the business knew her because of the position she had. I couldn’t compete with that.
Marcia is an institution, the glue that held a good portion of the CE community together. There are so many Marcia stories, but I will leave those for another post. The press release went on to say, “Starting with its earliest days, Marcia has helped build TWICE into the industry-leading powerhouse it is today,” states Adam Goldstein, EVP/Group Publishing Director, NewBay Media CE/Gaming Group. “We thank her for her years of service and all she has brought to the brand. She will be missed.”
I find those words hysterical. Whoever wrote them does not realize how shallow and foolish they sound. Those words will stick in my head forever. I will repeat them over and over. “We thank her for her years of service and all she has brought to the brand. She will be missed.”
Just like that. A snap of the fingers and 27 years of total devotion vanishes as if it never existed. “She will be missed.” The suits haven’t even begun to realize how much she will be missed. She learned how to be a publisher from the master himself, our mentor Richard Ekstract, who created that trade journal in the first place.
Richard taught Marcia never to take no from a potential advertiser. She was ruthless when it came to securing ads for her baby. You often heard Marcia pound her chest, “I am so lucky to work for the greatest publication in the world. I could never sell for a publication I didn’t believe in.” I don’t care who TWICE hires to replace Marcia, their business will never be the same, not in this day and age. Trade pubs are folding left and right. Marcia had the passion and the ambition to keep it going.
I spoke to Marcia a few hours after I read the release and asked her what happened. She simply said, “It was time.” The industry was changing, once again, and it was no longer fun.” I really didn’t ask her who did what to whom because it doesn’t really matter to me.
What matters most is that Marcia re-defines herself with something else. She can’t just stop cold. Her mind needs to be challenged. As with me, Marcia’s job was her signature. She has a wonderful and devoted husband, but she is used to leading life in the fast lane. We are going to meet to discuss options.
I am willing to bet it will be “Ding dong, the Queen is not dead.” Marcia won’t become retired. She will become more relevant.