Leap of Faith

Author Dennis Spaeth
July 03, 2018 - 12:15pm

Taking a leap of faith literally.Owning a print magazine such as Cutting Tool Engineering may not seem like a natural move for someone who has served as its electronic media editor for the past 11 years, but then jumping headlong into the great unknown is kind of a thing with me.

As moves go, I liken this one to the time I jumped from A Perfectly Good Airplane. That, by the way, happened to be the name of the propeller plane that took me up for my first solo skydive several years ago.

Last month, I thought of that jump as I made the rounds on the phone to inform various people in the industry that I had purchased CTE Publications Inc., which publishes this 70-year-old magazine. Along with numerous congratulatory remarks came a few comments about how brave I must be to take on a print magazine in an era of digital upheaval that has yet to reveal its full impact on a wide array of industries.

But when one person I spoke with lauded me for my “courage,” my mind flashed back to the moment when I moved to the outside of that propeller plane flying at about 13,000'. I had to get into position for my solo jump, along with my two skydiving instructors who were on both sides of me holding on to a set of handles sewn onto the arms and legs of the nylon jumpsuit I was wearing.

Then I waited for the jump signal from my instructors. The signal came. I let go.

That’s what went through my mind as I thanked the person on the other end of the phone for the kind words. As for how much courage it takes to run a print magazine these days, I have to say I took this step with a great deal less trepidation than when I stepped out of that plane.

More important to me is the faith I have that CTE is well-positioned to serve the metalcutting industry through each of its media channels: the print magazine, the website (ctemag.com) and the CTE+ video app for smart TVs and mobile devices. I have faith that CTE staff will maintain and build on the level of quality and editorial success that our audience deserves.

For my part, I’ve spent the past decade ensuring that the website complements the magazine. Now I intend to ensure that the magazine complements the website and the CTE+ app. What that means is we will feature more of CTE’s digital and video content in the magazine. With more than a million views on our YouTube channel alone, CTE’s audience is ready for the synergy that our print magazine, website and video app can deliver.

CTE welcomes new ideas and collaborations—for example, see the “Defining Parameters” article on page 94—that will help us better serve the informational needs of metal cutting and grinding professionals. So if you have an idea, no matter how “out there” you think it might be, give me a call. I’d appreciate the opportunity to connect.

Given that I’m not particularly risk averse, your idea may lead to an exciting new collaboration.

And just in case my sense of adventure gets the best of me, I know I can trust my staff to save me, as my skydiving instructors had to do when I had trouble finding the rip cord on that solo jump. (See for yourself.)


Related Glossary Terms

  • grinding


    Machining operation in which material is removed from the workpiece by a powered abrasive wheel, stone, belt, paste, sheet, compound, slurry, etc. Takes various forms: surface grinding (creates flat and/or squared surfaces); cylindrical grinding (for external cylindrical and tapered shapes, fillets, undercuts, etc.); centerless grinding; chamfering; thread and form grinding; tool and cutter grinding; offhand grinding; lapping and polishing (grinding with extremely fine grits to create ultrasmooth surfaces); honing; and disc grinding.

  • metalcutting ( material cutting)

    metalcutting ( material cutting)

    Any machining process used to part metal or other material or give a workpiece a new configuration. Conventionally applies to machining operations in which a cutting tool mechanically removes material in the form of chips; applies to any process in which metal or material is removed to create new shapes. See metalforming.



Dennis, who served as electronic media editor at Cutting Tool Engineering from January 2007 through May 2018, is now the owner and publisher of the magazine and CTE Publications Inc. Dennis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University, and has more than 40 years of media experience.