Dear CN subscriber:
When my wife and I acquired Cyclone Nation, now CN, three years ago we were very optimistic about the possibilities. The quality of the print product was unlike anything that had ever been offered to Cyclone fans before, and because of the connections I had made via the radio show over the years I knew it would be fun to be around Cyclone sports.
Unfortunately, many of those expectations were never realized despite having the top rated sports show in this state, great support from the ISU athletic department, and the best material in print and online regarding Cyclone football and basketball news, particularly when it came to recruiting.
Last year I began work on a ministry project with two close friends that will soon come to fruition. That, combined with my increased duties at home and on the radio made justifying the expense of maintaining CN and its unmet expectations problematic. To be blunt, despite all of the "profiteering" we often joke about in regards to my involvement with ISU sports, I wasn't getting rich off of this operation. It was successful, but not successful enough to justify the time, expense, and stress maintaining it caused my wife and I.
I really only held on to it for two reasons:
- I believe in the potential of the product, particularly the magazine.
- As a passionate college sports fan I love being a part of Hilton Magic and having close ties with a football program coached by Dan McCarney, one of the people in this business I have the most admiration for.
Nonetheless, earlier this year I had decided to walk away from CN. However, the arrival of investment capital and the addition of business expertise that came with it, plus some encouragement from Scout.com, caused me to reverse that decision. I decided to keep CN but some changes needed to be made.
One of the first decisions we had to make was to restructure. Despite the accolades, this is a business and the revenue simply did not exist to justify doing the same things we've always done. Changes had to be made.
During this period of transition we kept Bill Seals fully informed and shared that we needed to change his duties and responsibilities. Part of that transition was to focus his energies on recruiting news. It has long been my goal to make him the Cyclone version of Jon Miller, in other words a passionate and knowledgeable unofficial spokesperson for the cardinal-and-gold. No more.
He would be allowed to focus on core areas of content generation and that would be his primary responsibility for Cyclone Nation. In addition to that he would have duties creating content for another news and information vehicle. By splitting his responsibilities between the two entities we were able to recreate a compensation package that would have kept him at or near the level of compensation he was at prior to our current restructuring.
For reasons we completely understand, Bill made the decision about two weeks ago to move on. We respect his decision. We appreciate his service. We wish him the best. And our door is always open to him. We are sorry to lose Bill.
At the same time we are very excited about the future. We have added key staff to our operation on the revenue generation side and the business management side. We are also in the process of changing our content focus and tone. We think the Cyclone Nation is going to be very excited about the product we are creating. Frankly I am more excited now than I have been since the day we started it. There are transition issues, for sure, but when we unveil our new product watch out! For instance, we just finished our first 48-page magazine issue, which you should receive in the mail in the next couple of weeks, and I think it's the best looking issue we've published yet.
We are also injecting much needed Cyclone blood into CN. As much as I love being around Iowa State and the people in its athletic department, I've never hidden the fact that I am a proud Wolverine, and no amount of money will ever change that. In addition, my new ministry project – combined with my radio and family duties – will not allow me to oversee the intimate details of CN any longer. Thus it is imperative we hire true, unabashed Cyclones who love Iowa State to implement our mission of making Iowa State the dominant sports team in Iowa, particularly in the Golden Circle where half of the state's population resides.
To that end we have already hired a new Chief Operating Officer and Director of Marketing, who is a 1995 graduate of Iowa State University and a proud member of the Cyclone Nation. We anticipate other regular staff we will add in the future will bring the same passion for the Cyclones.
It is our highest priority to take CN Magazine and CycloneNation.com website to the next level. Period. To do that will take time, sacrifice and your prayers.
If you have questions you may email me at CycloneNation@aol.com.
I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your continued support.
Steve Deace, CN publisher