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Music Inc.'s team accepts the "Magazine of the Year" award during ASBPE's 2012 banquet. From left: ASBPE's Deborah Cassell, Music Inc.'s Andy Williams and Katie Kailus, ASBPE's Tina Barbaccia, and Music Inc.'s Zach Phillips and Frank Alkyer

Music Inc. Named 'Magazine of the Year'

Music Inc. has been named "Magazine of the Year" by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). The award is the highest honor in U.S. trade journalism — the business publisher's equivalent of the "Best Picture" Oscar or "Album of the Year" Grammy. ASBPE presented the award to Music Inc.'s editorial team during a banquet in Chicago in late July.

"This is humbling," said Frank Alkyer, Music Inc.'s publisher. "Everyone here works so hard. We keep our focus on our readers, and our dedication is to the craft of publishing great articles. To be recognized this way by our peers is a true milestone for Music Inc.

"Congratulations to Zach Phillips, our editor, for leading the charge, and Andy Williams, our designer, for making Music Inc. and our digital initiatives look so fresh month in and month out. Congratulations to Katie Kailus, our associate editor, and Hilary Brown, contributing editor, for their diligence and detail. These folks really shape and focus the magazine each month. Congratulations to the best group of columnists in trade publishing — Greg Billings, Billy Cuthrell, Ted Eschliman, Alan Friedman, Pete Gamber, Gerson Rosenbloom, Kenny Smith and Myrna Sislen. They bring front-line, no-nonsense common sense to the pages of Music Inc. This magazine is a real team effort, so congratulations also go to Tom Burns and John Cahill, our sales team, and Margaret Stevens, our bookkeeper, for serving as additional eyes and ears on the industry and making sure we simply stay profitable. And congratulations to our circulation team of Sue Mahal and Evelyn Oakes. They make sure the magazine reaches those professionals on the front lines of retail.

"Finally, congratulations to Kevin Maher, our president, and the entire Maher family. Kevin and his family have backed Music Inc. through thick and thin, for the long haul — with one eye on good business but giving equal attention to good publishing. And that's not always easy."

"Magazine of the Year" is voted on by a panel of leading business magazine editors, writers, art directors and publishers. Just two magazines receive the award each year, based on their annual revenue. Music Inc. won in the "Under $2 million" category. (A magazine named IEEE Spectrum won in the "Over $2 million" category.)

Last year, Music Inc. was a finalist for "Magazine of the Year." This year, the publication took top honors by entering three issues: March/April, May and June 2011. Among the contents of these editions, they featured extensive coverage of The NAMM Show, a provocative cover story on e-tailer Instrumental Savings, and the expanded and redesigned annual buyer's guide, "The Source."

"Music Inc. stood out from the competition with its strong writing, understanding of its target audience and intriguing design," said Tina Barbaccia, an ASBPE board member and head of the "Magazine of the Year" judging panel. "The judges referred to Music Inc. as the Rolling Stone for its industry — a must-read and a package that 'rocks.' In today’s business-to-business media environment, we have become mobile journalists. Paired with the current tough economy, putting together an excellent publication with tighter budgets and less staff that incorporates several mediums is challenging. Music Inc. has done this. The publication and its brand is not a one-hit wonder. It’s a superstar in the B2B publishing industry and should be proud to be recognized as the best of the best. Congratulations to a top-notch magazine."