For its work helping readers in the automotive business navigate what it called a chaotic 2021, Automotive News was named Magazine of the Year in the 12 or More Issues per Year publication frequency group during the National Azbee Awards Banquet at the 2022 ASBPE conference. The ASBPE conference was held May 12-13 at the Aloft Cleveland Downtown.
Skillful investigations and other reports by the weekly business-to-business newspaper, published by Crain Communications, made this weekly publication “essential reading for anyone who works in the automotive industry,” one ASBPE judge wrote. “The insightful content is expertly crafted and demonstrates that the editors are closely in tune with the field they cover.”
Among the front-page articles featured in the Automotive News entry — which included three consecutive issues — were stories that focused on microchip and other shortages that affected car manufacturing. But the industry’s inability to create a power-supply infrastructure to support the vastly growing number of electric vehicles and dwindling auto inventories to supply customer needs were also in the publication’s sights. It was, according to the award submission, “a chaotic year with multiple crises and challenges but considerable upside as well.”
Said Jamie Butters, the winning publication’s executive editor, “I’m so proud of the Automotive News team for how we rallied around each other, adapted to the constant changes and continued to deliver for our audience.” He described how the pandemic-plagued year forced his staff, like so many other news organizations, to deal with “disruptions in our home lives [and] grief over lost loved ones.” Despite heavy staff turnover, he added: “We broke news. We explained the trends and changes behind the news. And we employed creative and interesting story forms.”
The publication’s entry noted in particular that its July 19 issue last year “uncovered via dealer sources” how Ford Motor Co. had proposed having “dealers finish building some vehicles,” instead of the manufacturer, as normal. That showed “how far automakers had veered into uncharted territory.” As electric powertrains grew in popularity,” Automotive News said, “our reporters gave readers insight on how that is changing the way vehicles look, how dealerships are adapting and what infrastructure changes are needed to support the coming wave of EVs.”
ASBPE’s Azbee Awards of Excellence program is one of the most competitive there is for business-to-business, trade, association, and professional publications. The Azbees recognize outstanding work by magazines and digital media — websites, e-newsletters, digital magazines, social media and blogs. The Azbee Awards open for entry in November each year, so stay tuned to ASBPE.org for more information.