Celebrating 15 years
The first issue of Mobile Radio Technology bore the date January/February 1983. Three partners who owned Wiesner Publishing Company in Littleton, CO, launched the magazine: E. Patrick Wiesner, James D. Fahnestock and Phil D. Cook.
When they previously were executives with Cardiff Publishing, Wiesner and Cook started other magazines and managed Communications, perhaps the first magazine to cover the business and industrial land mobile radio industry. Fahnestock had previously edited electronics magazines and had published a daily city newspaper.
In the 1970s, looking for a better place to raise his family, Fahnestock decided to move from New York to Colorado. He met Wiesner when he applied for a job with Cardiff. No job resulted, but with common interests in golfing and flying, he and Wiesner became friends. Fahnestock went into business distributing computer hardware. He relocated to Evergreen, CO, establishing his company under the name of Westek.
Wiesner exited Cardiff in 1980 and hung out his shingle as a publishing consultant; meanwhile, he and Fahnestock talked about starting a publishing company. They convinced each other, formed Wiesner Publishing in 1982 and launched its first magazine, Satellite TV. The magazine continues today under a different owner and under the name Private Cable. A few months after the first magazine was launched, Cook became the third partner and began work in September 1982 to launch Mobile Radio Technology.
I became an employee and trained under Fahnestock beginning in April 1983, working initially on the two magazines and later, several others. Mercy Contreras, now a group publisher with MRT’s current owner, left her job at Cardiff and became a Wiesner Publishing employee in July 1983, selling advertising in MRT. Cook sold his partnership interest about a year later and went on to launch magazines and other businesses of his own and to represent other publishers. In 1986, Intertec Publishing purchased MRT along with two other magazines from Wiesner Publishing. Not long afterward, Fahnestock sold his company stock.
Today, Wiesner publishes a number of magazines as majority owner of Wiesner Publishing, which now is headed by his son, Dan. Fahnestock is retired and pursues interests in travel, flying, amateur radio and computers. Cook joined Intertec in 1997 and sells advertising in RF Design magazine as the marketing manager for the western United States.
Talk about change. When I went to work at Wiesner Publishing, I was one of seven employees. Intertec is large enough that the employee count fluctuates daily, but the total is about 1,400. Quite a difference! In fact, it is impossible to identify all of the individuals who now contribute effort toward the magazine, because upwards of 50 to 100 employees spend time ranging from a tiny amount to full time on MRT in various roles.
I’ll name a few, though. Raymond E. Maloney, in 1986, as vice president of finance for a much smaller Intertec, helped with the acquisition. He now is president and CEO of the company. Cameron Bishop, now senior group vice president, was a key player in the acquisition as a group vice president in 1986 and has been among our executive management ever since. Eric Jacobson, now vice president of business development, was our publisher during the first few years at Intertec.
Our current editorial team includes David A. Keckler, features editor; Nikki Chandler, associate editor; and Scott Dolash, associate art director. Our two most active advisers are Raymond C. Trott, P.E., who began helping us in 1987, and Robert H. Schwaninger Jr., who became our regulatory consultant and columnist in 1992. Schwaninger followed Alan Tilles, who had filled a similar role beginning in 1991. Harold Kinley, C.E.T., brought us the idea for and began writing the “Technically Speaking” column in 1993. A writer and west coasteditor during the magazine’s infancy was Jack Daniel. Last, but certainly not least, on this roster of staff members, advisers and other regular contributors, is Fred M. Link. Link, a pioneer two-way radio manufacturer, became our industry consultant in 1984 during the Wiesner days.
Julie Neely is our circulation manager; Dennis Hegg and Joyce Bollegar sell display advertising. (Hegg started with Intertec in 1982 and was assigned to MRT when it was acquired.) Dawn Rhoden sells classified advertising. Scott Hanna and Patti Lee coordinate the advertising materials.
Wiesner, Fahnestock and Cook conceived the idea for the magazine and launched it; many fine people have given it their energy and skills in the intervening years, and it has a superior team of contributors, staff and managers today. Mercy and I join in thanking everyone who has had a role in giving their talents to the magazine during its first 15 years, as well as the readers who have welcomed it and the advertisers who have supported it. -Don Bishop