I held this job for the duration of the "personal computer revolution," and it was up to me to make every aspect of that phenomenon clear and understandable to an audience of MIS (management information systems) managers. I not only learned a great deal about the computer and telecommunications industries but also developed all the skills necessary to a business reporter.
The amount of knowledge about technology I gained at MIS Week has served me well ever since. For a long time I knew by heart a great number of technical specifications that even companies' own marketing departments didn't understand. To write about add-in options for IBM PCs and compatibles, I learned everything about the various standards for graphics and memory. The newspaper also covered telecommunications, so I was well-versed in ISDN specs in the late 1980s, and I also knew quite a bit about the businesses of the regional Bell operating companies.
Ostensibly, this was a Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 job. But the deadline day for a weekly is always a long one for the copy editors, and on deadline, my day usually began at 10 a.m. and ended about 2 a.m. To compensate, I was encouraged to come in at noon on two or three other days.
MIS Week folded in 1990, when ABC/Cap Cities, which by then owned Fairchild Publications, consolidated its publishing operations. When I worked there, MIS Week's editorial staff comprised about 20 people in New York; we also had several reporters in bureaus in Boston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, and Europe. Colleagues there went on to work at the Boston Globe and Fort Worth Star-Telegram and for Reuters and the Dow Jones Newswire.