Up front: November 2012

Who reads us

The October issue had been out only a few days when I received an email. “I enjoy reading BNC and have for some years,” it began. “Generally, I find the articles of interest and well written with proper grammar. So I was stunned when I received my latest copy, which bears the headline Who’s Best for Business?” He pointed out that it should have been Who’s Better for Business? “There were only two candidates under review, so how can one or the other be best?”

Doh! If I were a lawyer, I would have mounted a defense: Sure, the cover on which that headline appears shows only Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory, but the ballot also bears the name of Barbara Howe, the Libertarian running for governor, plus a line for write-in candidates. But that doesn’t wash: Fact is, we had confounded the superlative with the comparative usage.

That a Business North Carolina reader took us to task for such a slip is not surprising. You’re an erudite, well-educated bunch ­— 85% having graduated from a four-year college, 27% with a master’s degree, 9% a doctoral degree and 15% with some sort of postgraduate study short of a degree. Oh, I know about you guys (88% male) because I’ve seen the draft of our latest readership survey, conducted this summer by Lewis & Clark Inc., an independent Raleigh market-research firm.

Among the highlights: Respondents reported an average household income of about $183,000 in 2011, individual income of $110,000, household net worth of $1.7 million and investment portfolios with a value exceeding a million dollars. Those who own their homes reported an average value of $377,000, and their other real-estate holdings had an average value of $655,000.

That we have such an affluent audience is great news for BNC’s advertisers and for me and my son, its owners. But as the editor, I am delighted to see that the relationship between the magazine and its readers remains strong. Not only do you give us high marks on content and design, but you’re willing to invest that most precious resource — your time — in us. The survey indicates you pick up each issue three times and spend about 50 minutes reading it. Four-fifths of the respondents share their issue with at least one person, the average being with two. And you’re loyal: “On average, respondents have subscribed to Business North Carolina for eight years.”

Yes, you’re special. And, we like to think, so are we. You’ll find the complete version of the survey’s results on BusinessNC.com by the end of this month.