Not good news, for now: As I know what it’s like to be on the “covered” side of such news, I don’t like to blog stories of a Nashville-based magazine publishing company going through some uncomfortable times. However, the Nashville Post (subscription required) is reporting that Dan Hammond and up to 15 staffers have departed American Profile. American Profile is a Parade-like magazine distributed in smaller town newspapers.
Hammond’s departure suggests that American Profile may not have reached profitability by mid-year 2002, as the company previously forecasted. Investors, including two out-of-state venture capital firms, have provided an estimated $30 million in funding since the company’s inception.
While I know a lot of the players involved in this story (I even had a walk-on cameo part years ago), I am only speculating about what is going on with this latest news. I think the publication is a good concept and, although I haven’t seen it on a regular basis, I’m sure it’s executed well. The timing could not have been worse (man, do I know about that), however.
From the outside looking in, it appears to be a classic example of different skills being necessary for different stages in a company’s life. American Profile would not exist were it not for Dan’s tenacity and refusal to give up a dream. I marvel at his success in raising such venture capital…an amazing feat. Perhaps, unfortunately, the ability to sell advertising when no one wants to buy it may require another set of skills.
In any event, I am proud of the work these Nashvillians have done. I admire their conviction and determination and success at bringing a dream alive. I hope the publication lives on (it should as the concept still appears sound and the momentum appears to be moving in the right direction)…and I know that all of the individuals who may have departed will have the opportunity to turn this experience into a future success. Onward.