Literary agent

 In 2015-05

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In case you haven’t noticed, print media isn’t the world’s most robust industry these days. Parents whose kids seek journalism careers shudder, worried that their darlings will face lifelong challenges of keeping the rent paid and refrigerator stocked. So wouldn’t you know it that in his first “Town Square” column for Business North Carolina, Editorial Director Jim Dodson writes about the glory days of buggy manufacturing, an industry that’s a cliché for failure to adapt. But Jim, who joined us in February under our new ownership, has earned a privilege to write what he pleases after a career of penning critically acclaimed books and — defying many print-media skeptics — helping shepherd three new arts and culture magazines over the last decade.

Jim is an East Carolina University alum who started in newspapers in Greensboro, where he grew up. (ECU named him a distinguished alumnus.)He worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Yankee Magazine, but is best known as a top-shelf golf writer. His six golf books include Final Rounds, a 1996 memoir of hitting the links with his father that has sold more than 500,000 copies, and American Triumvirate, a portrait of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead that was named a top 100 book by The New York Times in 2012.

Jim’s reputation prompted David Woronoff, publisher of The Pilot newspaper in Southern Pines, to ask him to cover the U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst in 2005. A week turned into a decade; Dodson and his wife, Wendy, left Maine to relocate in Moore County, and Jim has played a key role at PineStraw in Southern Pines, O.Henry in Greensboro and Salt in Wilmington, along with Woronoff, Art Director Andie Rose and others. Each magazine is carving a niche in crowded media markets and developing passionate local readership with a mix of profiles and columns written by some of North Carolina’s most accomplished writers. Jim and his colleagues have shown that, with enough creativity and perseverance, there’s opportunity in print media in 2015.

Now, Jim is adding his talents to our magazine. “BNC is going to be a very good marriage, prosperous for all concerned, especially the magazine’s present and future readers and advertisers,” he wrote in PineStraw this month. True to tradition, this edition offers a profile of a famous Tar Heel manufacturer and stories on tech businesses that are critical to the state’s economic future. It also debuts a monthly column that will let Jim roam through the state, describing interesting businesspeople and communities and linking history with current affairs. “I think Business North Carolina readers are in for a treat,” Woronoff says. That’s for sure, but please Jim, no more buggy columns.

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