If at times this issue reads like something of an homage to Gary Press, it’s not by accident. June marked the last month with Gary as chairman of SFBW and as the creative, financial and visionary leader of Lifestyle Media Group.
Therefore, it’s only fitting that he makes key appearances in two feature stories: “Going to Extremes,” a look back at a recent CEO Connect event that showcased Gary interviewing author Robert Buschel, whose new novel, God’s Ponzi, was the deliciously compelling topic of discussion; and “Shining a Light,” a recap of our first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Awards, an evening in which Gary delivered an address that was stirring and unabashedly personal, as he assumed a powerful stance against prejudice and bigotry in all its forms. I had never been so proud to work for LMG and SFBW as I was that night.
It is heartening to the entire team that Gary will continue on in an advisory capacity as he hands over the reins of LMG to the company’s new owners, Babcox Media. The Akron, Ohio-based company—renowned nationwide as the leading provider of business-to-business content and services for the transportation industry—brings more to the South Florida market than a media legacy that spans 102 years.
The acquisition—which includes SFBW and South Florida Legal Guide, in addition to Tampa Bay Business & Wealth and a suite of all seven Lifestyle titles—affords our team access to the cutting-edge products and capabilities that continue to distinguish Babcox as an acknowledged innovator in the area of multimedia content development.
This transition will yield increasingly rich and robust opportunities for our advertisers, sponsors, collaborators and nonprofit colleagues—as well as next-level engagement for our readers. Think advanced audience targeting, social media campaign management, and state-of-the-art digital services, from videos and livestreams to webinars and podcasts. In announcing the acquisition, Gary noted that Babcox’s culture, passion and vision align perfectly with the LMG philosophy, adding, “The future couldn’t be brighter for our team—as well as for our existing and future clients.”
Babcox has embraced the entire SFBW team—a seasoned talent lineup that continues to deliver, day after day, penetrating content in print and online, vibrant photography and design, stellar client service, and a slate of edifying events that brings together industry figures to make fruitful and lasting connections. Now we look to Babcox Media—led by third-generation owner Bill Babcox, CEO since 1990, and company president Greg Cira—for their leadership, singular expertise and unique contributions, so that we can raise the bar even higher.