Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Pool & Spa News – how we determine editorial content and who’s responsible for what goes into the industry’s leading magazine? As managing editor, I feel uniquely qualified to give you a sneak peek into the inner workings of PSN.

Let’s start with myself. Managing editor? What, exactly, does that mean? 

Essentially, my role is to keep the gears of the magazine in motion. I work closely with our editor-in-chief, Erika Taylor, along with our interactive director, Gary Thill, to maintain our editorial schedule, which means making sure that deadlines are met, current issues are moved along through the production process and future issues are planned. 

Sounds fairly straightforward, but this splinters into a myriad of smaller duties. To name but a few: I’m responsible for coordinating and communicating the needs of the editorial department with the art and production branches; I perform quality control for each feature article, which includes proofreading and copyediting; I manage all freelanced content, from vetting a potential freelancer and assigning stories to making sure they get paid; and I co-manage special issues, such as our upcoming Top 50 Builders issue (which I’m excited to be working on now) and our always hotly anticipated Masters of Design issue.  

In other words, it’s a full time job.

In one month, we usually produce three issues — two for Pool & Spa News and one for its sister publication, Aquatics International. Throw a wrench into any of above tasks and you’ve got a bottleneck rivaling Los Angeles’ infamous 405 freeway during rush hour; everything comes to a grinding halt with a lot of red-faced, angry people shaking their fists. (OK, maybe we don’t actually shake our fists, but I’ve certainly witnessed more than a few red faces in our office.) The mad rush to get each issue out the door and to the printer can be exhilarating, though nothing matches the sense of satisfaction we feel when we receive positive feedback from our readers.

So there you have it — that’s what I do here. Stick around and I’ll answer questions such as: So who says what goes into the magazine or on the website? How do we maintain our journalistic integrity when dealing with sensitive topics? Who comes up with all the ideas for the topics we cover and how? What should you do if you have some juicy news? What exciting things do we have in store for you?

Or if you have a burning question about how we do what we do, comment here and I’d be happy to answer in a future post.