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February 2015

Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Next steps and transitions

— by Pat Foran, editor

For a while now, we've been reporting on the executive-level retirements to come at North American railroads and the transitions that'll accompany them. They've started coming, those retirements and transitions. This month, I've got a retirement/transition of our own to write about.

Dick Yake, longtime vice president of content development at Trade Press Media Group, which owns Progressive Railroading, retired last month after 40 years with Trade Press. Renee Bassett succeeds him in the same role.

Dick played an instrumental role in the editorial direction and development of this magazine and others at Trade Press, which acquired Progressive Railroading in 1994. The evolution of information delivery took us beyond the printed page, and Dick helped guide us along that path — paths, actually. His unerring design eye has been invaluable, often inspirational. More than all that: Dick's been a friend, a true one, since 1985, when I was an editor for a different Trade Press magazine. He's been a good listener, he's been open, he's been honest — traits I've leaned on as we've reflected on what it would take for us to get better at what we do. For that, I'm grateful.

Dick has led us through a series of transitions, including ensuring a smooth baton-passing this past month. Ultimately, he helped us take a number of next steps. And Renee will keep us on the next-step track.

Renee brings nearly 30 years of business-to-business media experience to Trade Press. She's served in a variety of editorial and brand leadership positions with a range of media organizations, including CapCities/ABC, Aberdeen Group, Reed Business Information, Putnam Media and, most recently, Summit Media Group. At Summit Media, she managed the content development and production team for a multimedia brand comprising a magazine, 10 e-newsletters, webcasts, custom publications, mobile apps and a website.

Renee is a critical thinker and a quick study. And like Dick, she's a really good listener, which is crucial anytime you're in Transitionville, the way this industry is. I'm looking forward to working with Renee as the rail industry evolves and as we continue to chart our information-delivery course. Thanks for taking the baton, Renee.


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