Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cygnus Publishing Terminates The "Quick Consultant" Column

An Explanation About Why
My Column Has Been Terminated
In the past few days, especially with the release of the May 2012 issue of Quick Printing magazine, I have received many emails and calls from folks asking about the sudden disappearance of my “Quick Consultant” column, a column that has been published continuously for at least 28 years.

If you would like to express your opinions for or against the termination of the “Quick Consultant” column, I would encourage you to call Kelley Holmes, publisher at 1-800-6162252, ext. 6104. I understand she may be out of the office this week. If you would prefer some email addresses they are as follows: Publisher President of Cygnus Business Media Assistant and supervisor of various publications
Of course, you can always reach me at:

The short story, and about all I can tell you at this point, is that I was arrested by the Seminole County police for sending an alleged threatening email to the chief of police of Sanford, FL. The letter was in reference to the “Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman” case here in Florida – a big story that capitivated the news for many weeks. (As many of you know, “my pen has always been my sword” – or in this case my keyboard - I also fell on the sword as well!)

Anyway, within three days of my arrest and the large amount of publicity generated about my arrest, I heard second-hand from Cygnus Business Media that my 28-year relationship as a columnist for the magazine was terminated. I must admit I was shocked and disappointed. I never once heard from anyone officially involved in making the decision, just a brief call from someone down the line.

At no time did anyone seem interested or concerned about the premise that someone should be "presumed innocent" until proven otherwise. As I noted above, no one in authority, including folks I have dealt with for more than 28 years, had the common decency or “guts” to either call or write me as to the reasons for the sudden termination.

They terminated me despite the fact that, by their own statistics and admissions, my column was the most widely read column in the magazine, next to Bob Hall's editorials. Now Bob is no longer editor. Apparently that was a cost-cutting measure as a result of the magazine shrinking to less than a quarter of its size from just a few years ago.

People used to read my column because I told it like it was. I joked, I yelled, I told stories of real people facing real problems. I also enjoyed explaining all the information that is available in various studies, and I showed folks how to use these statistics to improve their own business.

Ok, so what is going to happen now? I have every intention of continuing the "Quick Consultant Column." At least temporarily, my columns will begin appearing on my web page at: I’ve already posted four columns and more should appear in the next few weeks and months.

Indeed, I will admit that I will miss talking and corresponding with many of those readers from Quick Printing magazine. I hope you will still keep in touch. I truly am grateful to have so many good friends in this industry. I should also take the time to thank Quick Printing Magazine for giving me such fantastic and talented editors to work with such as Bob Hall and his wife Karen. They are great folks to work with and I will miss them.

So long as I have the mental and physical capacity to conduct research studies and provide valuation services, and so long as folks like yourself who enjoy these columns, I will continue to publish them with or without an on-going relationship with Quick Printing Magazine.

I must admit however, I will miss the pressure of writing a monthly column. According to my notes, I wrote approximately 336 columns over the years, never once missing a deadline.

Anyway, I figured you were entitled to know “The Rest of the Story” and why my column no longer appears in the magazine.


John Stewart*, “The Quick Consultant”
QP Consulting, Inc.
2110 S. Dairy Road
W. Melbourne, FL

*This column or email was dictated, written and published by Mary Stewart, at the request of John Stewart. This legal c#$p and the reasons for this notice will be explained at a future date.



Blogger Shirley said...

"At no time did anyone seem interested or concerned about the premise that someone should be "presumed innocent" until proven otherwise."

Seems to be rampant in the Trayvon Martin discussions as well.

Your edge is why many of us read you... even when you do wade into the weeds with phone jammer tirades and political digressions ;-)

We'll read you where we can, keep us posted as to where.

May 10, 2012 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner, but I only just recently learned of your departure from Quick Printing. I hope your legal problems have resolved.

I worked for Cygnus back in the days when Bill Lewis was the group publisher for the Graphic Arts Network and Cygnus had 10 printing-related publications. Bill used to say that a magazine's only real assets are its employees. After Bill quit, management philosophy changed quickly, and a number of senior staff members left and were replaced with less-experienced people. The new management was not very fond of controversy or dissent, so it's not surprising that you were let go so abruptly. You might recall that something similar happened to Mike Stevens several years before. His popularity did not seem to make a difference either.

My last year at Cygnus felt like living in a season of the TV show "Game of Thrones." It was that unpleasant. You never knew who you could trust or what was going to happen next. Since then the company has gone through bankruptcy and is now being sold off piece by piece.

Today Cygnus only has three print publications. The March issue of Quick Printing contains only 38 pages, not counting covers. The magazine used to average more than 100 pages per month. I noticed that most of the popular writers from years ago are gone. That might be one reason the publication is so small. One article is titled "Good Managers Create Good Employees; Good Employees Create Good Business." Someone in the management at Cygnus ought to read it.

I guess he who laughs last laughs hardest.

May 26, 2014 at 11:06 PM  

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