[Viewpoint] Why No News Is News

Columns - View Point

October 19, 2015
Jodi Dorsch

In this space in May, I mentioned that issue of PCT was the largest we had published since October 2012. Well, that didn’t last long. This October issue of PCT is 172 pages, which is a half-dozen pages larger than May. And combined with a 40-page Crown Leadership Awards issue (which arrived with October PCT) and a 64-page Convention Extra issue (which is distributed at NPMA PestWorld), there’s a lot of content from PCT this month. I hope you enjoy it all!

We feature a wide array of articles in these three publications. You’ll find technical articles (see pages 60 and 112, for example), human interest pieces (page 54 and the Crown Leadership Awards issue), business articles (pages 39 and 82), supplier updates (pages 96 and 138) and, of course, “fun stuff” (page 72). But it’s the breaking news that one could argue is the most valuable content we bring to the marketplace.

As each member of our editorial team — which includes Publisher Dan Moreland, Internet Editor Brad Harbison and me — often have written in this space, breaking news is one of our favorite parts of the job. We all attended journalism/communications schools and the reporters in us enjoy this type of research and writing immensely.

In this issue, for example, we have coverage of the recent fumigation incidents that have been in the consumer press, Rentokil’s purchase of The Steritech Group and a news article about something that didn’t happen — the naming of Bob Rosenberg’s replacement as the CEO of the National Pest Management Association.

As you’ll see on page 12, NPMA’s succession planning committee and board of directors have not hired Rosenberg’s replacement. It’s news because this month was when NPMA had hoped to have someone in place and introduce him or her to the industry at NPMA PestWorld.

What happened? Despite the committee’s best intentions and efforts, apparently no interviewee “clicked” enough to warrant an offer. (It reminds me of this month’s cover story about the tough labor market...)

Chuck Tindol, chair of the succession committee, told me while he was disappointed the committee didn’t make an offer to a candidate after the in-person interviews were conducted, he also was pleased that the group didn’t “settle.” “There was probably a little bit of temptation to get it done but we decided to keep looking,” he told me last month.

The NPMA succession committee is to be commended for not “mailing it in.” We all know what it’s like to hire a new employee, particularly a key employee. It’s time consuming. It’s hard work. It takes away from your other responsibilities. Then the training begins...

And when the new hire is the highest executive at the industry’s only national trade association for pest management professionals, the importance of the decision cannot be overstated.

The succession planning committee wisely ramped up its search efforts by hiring an executive search firm. This proactive recruitment strategy hopefully will turn up professionals who might be a good fit for the position but who didn’t hear about it the first time around, or who for whatever reason didn’t apply.

In the meantime, Rosenberg has agreed to stay on until his replacement is found. That’s great news for the interim. But his shoes are going to be tough to fill, a realization I think the succession committee is weighing heavily. While the NPMA staff is no doubt competent, experienced and knowledgeable, they still need a leader to keep the ship headed in the right direction.

And please remember that whoever is hired to steer the ship, and whenever he or she is hired, the PCT editorial team will be covering it for you.


And speaking of NPMA, PCT sat down for an interview with new NPMA President Russ Ives this summer. In that interview he talked about various topics — including why he thinks government affairs/public policy is not an NPMA member benefit. See exactly what he means by reading the conversation online. Visit the “online extras” section of www.pctonline.com to see the interview.


The author is editor of PCT magazine.