Friday, December 5, 2008
Now Wait Just a Minute, Mr. Crowgey
Roanoke native Guy Crowgey (pictured) of the Richmond law firm of Crowgey & Grossman has a letter to the editor in the current Virginia Business that shows an astonishing lack of knowledge of his home area and a Richmond-centric view of the state that we are accustomed to around these parts. It just fried my liver.
Mr. Crowgey's letter complimented Virginia Business on an article "regarding growth and development in the Blacksburg area" written by Michelle Long as being "extremely well written and insightful." He calls himself a "weekend resident" of Southwest Virginia and believes "this area of the state is given short shrift" and blah, blah.
Michelle Long trained with us at the Blue Ridge Business Journal, which covered business in this region better than anybody else--daily, weekly or monthly--for 20 years until August 1 of this year (that's when I left to co-found Valley Business FRONT magazine and The Roanoke Times began exerting strong influence over the Journal, to its detriment). Michelle's reporting for us was exemplary and it remains so. We have other writers who are just as good, just as dedicated and who are knowledgeable of and very well connected in our region, their home.
Virginia Business has always treated this area of the state as an afterthought, as well it might, given that the population centers--and the advertising dollars--are in the east and north. But, then, the General Assembly has tried hard to ignore us, as well, considering us its country cousins. We're used to it and if we mind, we don't usually say so.
Fact is, though, that if you wanted comprehensive coverage of business in this area for those previous 20 years, the Blue Ridge Business Journal would have been the choice of the informed reader in this region. (I note that the current cover of VB has its first Business Person of the Year on the cover; that's something we were doing five years ago at the BJ and continue at VBFRONT--actually increasing it to a number of business awards in our December issue. Immitation is the sincerest form ... etc.)
We won a ton of awards at the BJ and in 2005 I won the Business Journalist of the Year award in the state. The featured speaker at that luncheon was the editor of Virginia Business. Talk about a Richmond faux pas. These days, there is no better business magazine in the state than the one former Journal GM Tom Field and I just started in October, Valley Business FRONT. It is bright, edgy, comprehensive and concentrates on the Roanoke and New River Valleys--the very areas Mr. Cowgey talks about.
Take a look and judge for yourself. Our entire magazine is online at www.vbfront.com and we even give you a little instrument to turn the pages (and we give you the page-turning sound as a bonus).