Hartford Business Journal 25: Celebrating the Past, Envisioning the Future


In November of 1992, before Facebook, before Google, before Twitter, we published the first issue of the Hartford Business Journal. We were headquartered in a small space over a pediatric dentist's office on Farmington Avenue near the West Hartford Line.

The economy was terrible, and it seemed every day there was news of another round of layoffs, in a market scarred and humbled by the Colonial Realty scandal. It was a heck of a time to start a newspaper, and after a number of publishers had failed to claim the local business-to-business space, there was a palpable sense that bets had been placed on how long we would last.

We persisted, and slowly, in the Land of Steady Habits, we became a habit too for readers looking for regional local business news. In 1996 we moved our publishing schedule from every other week to weekly, and that made a huge difference in our profile, and our ability to report in a timely way on the business news stories that our readers looked for. As the world changed we did as well, adding awards events like 40 Under Forty, Lifetime Achievement and Women in Business. For me personally, recognizing the people who invest their time, energy and passion to make the region a better place has been, and continues to be, one of the most satisfying aspects of the work we have done.

The digital world, of course, has opened new challenges and new opportunities. Interestingly, our print readership continues to increase, but it is often digital platforms like HBJ Today and CT Morning Blend that are the first things our readers mention. And as the the world continues to evolve, wherever our readers are we will follow as we continue to explore new markets and new vertical niches such as health care, green business, manufacturing and economic development.

In print, in person or online, our business is fundamentally about people. We hope this special issue provides a useful, and perhaps for some, a nostalgic look back on a distinct time in the Hartford region, and those who have shaped it. And whatever gets said about journalists and journalism these days, it is a truly noble profession. Over the years, the Hartford Business Journal has been blessed with colleagues who have cared deeply about our mission, and have given their best, conscientiously and with gusto. To all of you, staff past and present, deepest thanks.

So 25 years in, so far so good, and thank you to the community of readers, advertisers and friends in the market who have been so supportive of our efforts. We truly appreciate the many ways you have supported us. We will continue to remain true to our values, while working hard to innovate and serve your needs. We're excited and enthusiastically looking forward to what the next 25 years might hold for all of us!

Joe Zwiebel is the founder and publisher of the Hartford Business Journal.

To view the digital edition of our 25th Anniversary publication, click here

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