Happy 30th Anniversary to the MS in Publishing Program!
A reminiscence of Fall 1985: The First Semester of Classes in the Publishing Program:
September 1985 was a very special month for Pace University and Dyson College. We had just recruited 24 talented students for the Pace Publishing Program and they were all set to begin classes to prepare themselves for the world of publishing. It was the first program to make publishing more than an accidental profession. The courses were held at the Midtown Center which was then at 535 Fifth Ave.
Six courses were offered the first semester and taught by outstanding professionals and academics. Robert Carter, formerly Vice President of Marketing at Doubleday, served as Internship Director and taught Principles of Publishing; Berenice Hoffman, well respected literary agent, taught Subsidiary Rights and the Function of the Literary Agent; Allan Rabinowitz, President of Scribner Book Companies taught Financial Aspects in Publishing and Burton Leiser, Edward J. Mortola Distinguished Professor, taught Ethics in Publishing. Dr. Karla Jay, distinguished Professor of English, taught Advanced Communications.
The first class of students consisted of mostly humanities majors who had a commitment to communication. Most were humanities majors who had a commitment to communication. All were interested in entering a business that cherished ideas and language. Barbara Egidi, Program Manager, assisted greatly in bringing in that first class and continues to assist in the recruitment process. Jonelle Carter who was then working in Graduate Admissions was also a major factor for our success in recruiting that first class. She is a graduate of the program and presently living and working in Denmark.
Ivor Whitson Pace University Board of Trustee member and President of Centerlink Communications insisted on developing a digital component asserting that digital publishing will change the business. His insistence endured the program currency and assisted in moving us into the twenty first century and publishing today.
In addition to teaching the finance course, Allan Rabinowitz helped gather a professional advisory board to keep the program current. Ed Fitzgerald, Director of the Literary Guild and Book the Month Club, Ed Lewis, CFO of Hearst Magazines; Frank Gatti, CFO of the New York Times, Robert Stern, Partner at Arthur Anderson, Ed Ruzinsky, Partner of Deloitte Touche; Larry Usdin CFO Ziff Davis; Joe Hanson, Publisher of Folio Magazine; Rochelle Evans, VP of Human Resources, Times Mirror Magazines; Maggie Nichols, Senior, Editor of Field and Stream Magazine were just a few prominent publishing professionals that assisted in moving the program.
Prof. Rabinowitz was also instrumental in introducing me to David Pecker, President and Publisher of American Media Inc. Mr. pecker and his wife Karen have been dedicated to publishing and publishing education developing the David Pecker Professorship and David Pecker scholarship.
The Pace Publishing program is now thirty years old and has become internationally prestigious program. Graduates of the program come back to teach for us.
We are now at 551 Fifth Avenue, have 90 to 100 students enrolled in the program per year, offer courses online and in the classroom and have an alumni base that fully supports the Pace program and s totally dedicated to publishing education.
It has been 30 years since Professor Sherman Raskin founded the program in 1985. The publishing industry was more than slightly different back then. Today students are repeatedly reminded that the industry is in a state of change, but do we know how much it’s changed in the last 30 years?
Let’s go back in time:
1983: The era of desktop publishing began with the first inexpensive laser printers and computers
1994: For the first time in history, chain bookstores outsold independent stores, signaling what many fear to be the death of smaller booksellers at the hands of superstores
1995: Amazon went online as a bookstore selling physical books
1996: Traditional newspapers launched online versions for the Internet
1996: Jacobson and Comiskey patented E-Ink technology.
1997: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is published in the U.K. It came to the U.S. in 1998 as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and becomes a blockbuster bestseller. As of May 2015, the books in the series have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling book series in history.
1998: Google was founded and it vastly improved information retrieval in the Internet
1999: Self-publishing took off after Blogger was founded. People began to write on free blogs online.
2004: Facebook was launched and social media was changed forever.
2005: YouTube went online and video sharing on the Internet became mainstream
2005-2006: The rise of news and information blogs.
2006: Twitter debuted and gave a new meaning to short form publishing while becoming a popular source for breaking news and information outside of traditional media.
2007: iPhone launched and mobile phones started to become an important medium for web consumption.
2007: Amazon released Kindle and soon E-Ink readers began to gain traction.
2010: Apple announced the iPad, the first commercially profitable tablet computer. EBooks became more popular that ever before.
2011: For the first time, eBooks out sold printed books at Amazon.