This week Carl interviews the multi-talented Bo Sacks. A veteran of the printing/publishing industry, Bo Sacks was always an innovator. He has been a Publisher, Editor, Writer, Director of Manufacturing, Senior Sales, COO, Pressman, Software Developer, Cameraman and more.
Even way back in the ‘70s, he followed a more creative path than usual. Bo founded his own weekly newspaper in the metro New York area with 50,000 subscribers. “None of us knew anything about it…we made up the rules as we went along. It was a great paper.”
Bo went on to become one of the founding fathers of High Times Magazine. He said the magazine was wildly successful, with 700,000 circulation—truly a high time. It was fun to meet Blondie, Mick Jagger, Hunter Thompson and Jamie Lee Curtis, among others.
Bo went on to work for the big mainstream media, like McCall’s, New York Times Magazine Group, Ziff Davis. Bo noted, “I didn't know I had a ‘career’ until my 30’s!” He had always been an entrepreneurial spirit, so at first the corporate world didn't get him. But he brought some new ideas in, saved them money and Bo thrived.
“Where’s it going to go, Bo?” Carl asked, in reference to the future of Media. “Print will never go away, not at least in our lifetimes,” Bo predicts. “Print is going to move from a commodity to a luxury. This is one of the mistakes the industry still hasn't fully grappled with yet.” He sees one issue of a magazine costing $15 in the future. His view on the integration of technology and media: “Once 5G comes in, it will be double-light speed in our ability to communicate and share.”
A life-long learner with an unquenchable curiosity, Bo hasn't taken the traditional path to (un)retirement. In addition to his long and varied career, he publishes an industry newsletter, travels the world as a lecturer (pre-COVID), serves as a fireman and City Councilman. “I live a tangential life,” he said, “I had a main path with all these side roads that eventually lead back.”
Today his firm, Precision Media Group, does private consulting and publishes "Heard on the Web: Media Intelligence", a daily e-newsletter that delivers pertinent industry news to a diverse, worldwide, publishing community of over 16,750 media industry leaders. It is the longest running e-newsletter in the world.
Bo Sack’s astute observations on (un)retirement:
1) “At any point in your career, you should start thinking about what you want to do, even in your 20’s. It seems ludicrous to me to wait until you're 65 to develop side interests. Get these side interests into your life as early as possible. Then there’s no cliff, there’s no cliff at 65, you just transition to those other areas of your interest.”
2) “The world’s a beautiful place and I like helping it spin!"
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” weekly blog.