It all started at Palm Beach High School. I dreamed of becoming a globe-trotting, enormously successful news correspondent for Time Magazine, which used to be a really big deal. I imagined flying around the World, first-class (of course) reporting on all kinds of cool and sexy happenings. And, for big bucks, too!
To make this happen, after high school I enrolled in the College of Journalism at The University of Florida in Gainesville, a couple of decades before Tim Tebow became a national sensation there. The journalism school was renown for being among the best “J Schools” in the country.
I learned a lot about writing and editing and headlines and structure and continuity and all of the things that big time journalists need to know. And then I sent a letter to Time, Inc.
But, when I didn’t ever hear back from Time Magazine after graduating from “J School,” I came home and took a job as a local reporter for The Palm Beach Post newspaper.
I landed in a satellite office and was responsible for covering unusually long meetings in several nearby municipalities, the majority of which were held at night.
The job was more headache inducing than thrilling, but I soldiered on, keeping my eye on the prize of a major reporting job.
That’s when “it” happened. I learned that the star reporter for the Palm Beach Post made a salary that would not support the style of living that I hoped to become accustomed to. In fact, after 20 or so years at it, he didn’t make half of what some of the young ad sales guys were pulling down.
“It” hit, and I left the editorial arena in favor of becoming something I had never even contemplated: I became a sales guy! I moved to New York City and interviewed with the publisher of Sports Illustrated, (one floor away from the Time Magazine publisher), who told me that trade ad sales was not as glamorous but paid a heck of a lot more than consumer publications. I didn’t let the door hit me on the backside!