Doug Cantor – Senior Technology Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek
There is an age-old debate in editorial halls about the necessity and value of journalism school. Entering the world of media with the goal of editing work as opposed to creating it would seem an unusual path, but it has worked well for Doug Cantor, the newly appointed technology editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.
For someone who has long considered following a career in journalism, Cantor, a self-described “oddball in school,” says, somewhat unconventionally, that he has “more to offer as an editor than as a reporter.” For a long time, that’s where his focus has been. Cantor studied journalism, with a personal focus on editing, at Northwestern, a valuable experience, he said, “for the connections you make if nothing else.”
Out of school he landed a job at Popular Science as an editor, a position he coveted above the bump and grind of reporting. Though he doesn’t get the chance to do it as much as he might like, Cantor said he does enjoy writing.
After six years at Popular Science, where he covered a range of topics he described as “every technology topic under the sun,” Cantor has moved from a monthly publication to the more condensed, weekly format at Bloomberg. He noted the difference in editorial process at his new magazine as “considerably faster,” adding that the staff as well is much bigger.
He began his new position on August 6, but has had to wait out a summer double-issue to officially start. He is excited about his new endeavor, which offers the chance to cover different topics, and especially to cover things in new and different ways.
“That change is certainly welcome,” he said.
Part of Cantor’s challenge, and one faced by all members of the industry, is the changing landscape of media consumption – specifically, the rise of electronic media, devoured by consumers in new and ever-changing ways. As more and more electronic formatting takes place, “you have to have a hand in diversifying your talents,” he said. “Because that’s clearly the way the wind is blowing.” For Cantor, that means taking advantage of these developments.
“There are some things that print is best for and always will be,” he said. “But to be able to offer readers more [in the form of diversified media] and to be able to offer stories in new and interesting ways can only be a good thing.”
While Cantor doesn’t use social media that much at work, “partly from being an editor,” he did say he would be interested in using it in ways that it could benefit his job.
“The more platforms you have, the more different ways you can tell a story,” he said. “Nobody really knows what is going to happen. You have to do what you can to prepare.”
As the distinction between media types blurs more and more every day, it appears Bloomberg is preparing to meet the challenge.
“I want to put out a good section each week, to put my own stamp on it,” he said, focusing on the near-term. He added that he wants “to be able to try different treatments while still remaining within the confines of what Businessweek does.”
“There are so many great stories out there and I just want do them all,” he said.
In a new position, with a new team of reporters and confronted with a changing media landscape, Cantor faces an ever-evolving task. Based on his outlook, he seems up to the challenge.
Cantor says he does not ignore PR e-mails, and aside from “the pure volume of things that are sent [his] way,” he looks at everything he receives.
“You get lots of pitches that never in a million years would we run, that have absolutely nothing to do with the focus of the magazine,” he said. He prefers that PR people don’t “carpet-bomb,” but appreciates pitches that are “tailored pretty well and done selectively.”
He prefers pitches by e-mail, and asks that people understand the magazine. “Send only things that we might possibly be interested in running.”
Communications Best Practices
Get the latest updates on PR, communications and marketing best practices.
Cision Product News
Keep up with everything Cision. Check here for the most current product news.
Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.
A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.