Today, I turn 40. That is if you believe that 60 is the new 40. It has been 51 years since the day I bought my first magazine and I can honestly say I never looked back. I have been blessed time and time again by God and family, to continue my hobby, turned education, turned profession, every single day of my life since 1962. I do not think you will find too many people who can repeat that last sentence.
But through my entire hobby-turned-career (if you can call it that) I had one, and only one, guiding principle: Just Common Sense. The principle has been validated, almost every time I give a speech, consult or teach. Folks come to me at the end of my presentations and lectures and say, “Samir that was just common sense.” My answer has always been, “and you paid me for that!”
So on my 60th birthday I decided to compile some of “the just common sense” articles and blogs in this mini coffee-table style book aptly called Just Common Sense: Mr. Magazine’s™ Ideas to Grow and Cultivate Magazine Media. I invited David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, to write the introduction. I am glad that he accepted my invitation. His intro follows:
How many people can call themselves Mr. Magazine™ and get away with it? Exactly one: Samir Husni, who has been enthralled by the medium since his youth in Tripoli, Lebanon. Since then, he has been living, breathing and dreaming magazine media. He is a source of knowledge, inspiration and constructive criticism. All in all, there is no better cheerleader for our industry, and this collection of his essays tells the story of his passion for ink on paper.
Many in the industry fell in love with magazines early in life. In my case, it was as a teenager growing up in Long Beach, California. We share a belief in the power of truly original, engaging content that transports readers, shapes dreams and aspirations, and provides windows into faraway worlds and cultures. As a professor of journalism and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism, Samir has taught some of the most talented editors in the business, including our own Newell Turner, editorial director of the Hearst Design Group, who, after winning House Beautiful’s first National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2012, immediately texted his former professor to give him the good news. I imagine there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your life’s work come to fruition in a student’s success and recognition by his peers.
Samir believes in modernity and understands print’s important place in the future of entertainment. He champions the incomparable experience of devouring a magazine full of images, information, ideas and inspiration. At the same time, he believes in the exciting opportunities that digital and mobile offer our industry, when approached in a smart, strategic way. A healthy dose of Samir’s insight and optimism is good medicine, indeed.
President, Hearst Magazines