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Jim Vick entered the publishing industry in 1970 at McGraw-Hill Cos. and moved from there to sales and publishing jobs at a host of media companies, including Cahners, Bill Publications and Thomas Publishing. He also spent time at Poppe.com, an Internet advertising pioneer, in the late 1990s.
From his decades in the business and his experience watching the Internet destroy business models and create new ones, Vick has learned many lessons. Among the most important: “Never be complacent.”
He has applied this lesson at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an association that publishes IEEE Spectrum, a magazine with two Grand Neal award wins in the past five years from American Business Media and a finalist for a general excellence award from the American Society of Magazine Editors. As staff director/publisher, Vick oversees the business side of the IEEE Spectrum brand and IEEE Media, a group of about a dozen other publications aimed at IEEE's 410,000 members.
Over the past two years, IEEE Spectrum has embraced the tablet. The publication is optimized for the iPad, Android tablets and the Kindle Fire, and it is currently developing a tablet version that will be different from a typical digital edition in that it will have unique content and ads designed to take advantage of the platform's interactive capabilities.
Vick has also greenlighted a project to implement HTML5, so the editorial staff can produce content once, then seamlessly publish it in many places.