The Fordyce Letter to Cease Publication

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Jan 28, 2016
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Editor’s Note: will cease publication at the end of business January 29. The website will remain online as it is now during a transition period, but no new articles will post after Friday. At the conclusion of the transition, visitors to the site will be directed elsewhere to access past articles. The following letter from our CEO explains the decision.

Dear Reader –

After more than 40 years as the voice of the independent recruiting community, our subscriber newsletter The Fordyce Letter and its eponymous online presence, will cease publishing. The final online post will appear Friday.

While the news is disappointing to us and certainly to the thousands of our readers, it’s a reflection of the changing nature of the search business, as well as a refocusing of the mission of ERE Media, which has owned Fordyce since 2006.

No one could have guessed back then when ERE acquired The Fordyce Letter from Paul Hawkinson, its publisher of many years, just how profoundly the world, let alone agency recruiting, was about to change. Though the industry goes through ups and downs as the economy waxes and wanes, no one alive has experienced as severe an economic drought as the period 2007-2010.

Over the many years from its founding in the 1960s, The Fordyce Letter has chronicled those ups and downs. Equally as important – and perhaps even more significantly – Fordyce has reported on and encouraged the evolution of executive search.

Over the years he owned and published the newsletter, Paul Hawkinson, one of the giants of the search profession, spread the news about techniques and technical innovations. He provided insights into all aspects of the business and offered advice from his own professional experience. Together with his close friend and associate Jeffrey Allen, Hawkinson authored The Placement Strategy Handbook, to this day a valuable reference work for agency owners and recruiters. Much of this advice he and Allen freely shared on the pages of The Fordyce Letter.

Because there were so few resources available for search professionals, The Fordyce Letter was often referred to as “the industry Bible.” If you wanted to know what was going on in the industry, you subscribed to The Fordyce Letter.

The Internet changed that. Even before Google became a verb, information of all kinds was freely available online. Bulletin boards, the precursor of social networks, offered a gathering place for sharing news, tips and help. Professional organizations created resource-rich websites. What you couldn’t find there, you could find elsewhere.

That began the decline of all print subscriptions. The Fordyce Letter was no exception. Where a decade ago we had thousands of subscribers, today’s newsletter has only a few hundred. The website has thousands more readers than the newsletter ever did, but advertisers prefer our other sites –, and

Several months ago, after considering the options and weighing how we can be most effective, ERE Media refocused our mission. Instead of spreading ourselves across all parts of the recruiting and human resources ecosystem, we will focus on the corporate side.

Thank you to all our subscribers for your loyalty and readership over the years. A big thank you as well to all our writers and contributors who have made The Fordyce Letter a valuable resource for the profession.

Our best to you for a successful future. May you all be big billers.

Ron Mester
CEO / ERE Media, Inc.
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.