2010 Hall of Fame: Bob Sacks
Sacks' career began in the early 1970s, after college, when he and two friends started a weekly, alternative newspaper, The Express. "[Bob] is and always was an entrepreneur," says Cobb, who was The Express' first staff member. "[He] was the engine that powered us. He supplied the 'we might not know what we're doing, but that doesn't mean we can't do it' attitude that got it done."
"[At the newspaper], I learned everything I needed to know pretty much for the rest of my career," says Sacks.
From there, at the age of 23, he became one of the founding fathers of the now-36-year-old High Times magazine, assuming the role of vice president of manufacturing.
"I was always a gadget boy. … To learn the process of putting ink on paper and offset printing, and the mechanics behind it all is still fascinating to me," says Sacks. "I'm always thinking of the end process: The magazine has to ship on 'X' date and nothing will get in the way of that ever—and it hasn't."
"Bob brings to it a fearlessness …," says Andy Kowl—CEO, Next-Tech Markets, an advertising co-op for business-to-business publishers—Sacks' childhood friend who started The Express and High Times with him.
That fearlessness is exemplified in a story that Sacks tells from his days at High Times when he literally stopped the presses. "The cover wasn't right, and I yanked out magenta and put in rubine red, which is unheard of. You don't mix processed colors quite that way," he recalls. "… It might have cost me $600, but it was worth it. That's the sort of production creativity that not everybody gets to do."
After High Times, Sacks held a variety of positions, including director of production for McCall's Publishing, and director of manufacturing and distribution for Bill Communications Inc., part of VNU. In 1998, he left VNU (now Nielsen) to start his own company, Precision Media Group, a consultancy to printers, publishers, web producers and media startups.