Linda Hardesty joins Fierce as editor-in-chief

(NOAA Photo Library/CC by 2.0)

Hello Fierce readers. I’d like to introduce myself as the new editor-in-chief overseeing the FierceWireless, FierceTelecom and FierceVideo publications.

This is a natural step for me because I’ve been covering telecommunications networks since the mid-1990s, when I got my first journalism job at a trade publication called Cable World. Those were heady times when new cable channels were springing up seemingly every day. And some big cable operators such as Telecommunications Inc. and MediaOne employed a lot of people in my home city of Denver.

I remember that my very first story for Cable World was about a new software technology for ESPN. The software could superimpose a computer-generated line over the field of an NFL game to show football fans where the first-down line was in real time. I remember having to ask other editors what a first down was (yes, I was new to journalism and also to football). Since then, the first-down line has helped millions of fans better comprehend the game. Go Broncos!

Simultaneous to the rise of the cable industry, another major telecommunications business was emerging: wireless networks. While cable operators were stringing wires all over the world, wireless operators were erecting towers and urging consumers to buy their first smart phones.

On a personal note: before I took my job at Cable World, I also interviewed for a well-known wireless publication that also happened to be headquartered in Denver at the time.

Of course over the years, there’s been a lot of news about both wireless and wired networks, keeping us trade journalists on our toes. Most recently, I’ve been writing about the next generation of networks and the importance of software. While telecom networks still rely on the underlying wires and towers, a lot of amazing technological innovation is happening at the level of data centers and software. In fact, both cable operators and wireless operators are striving to make their networks look more like the streamlined operations of cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services.

It’s a great time to be joining the Fierce telecom publications because the group brings together coverage of wired and wireless networks, as well as over-the-top streaming video. And we’re right in the middle of the transition to 5G and network virtualization. So telecommunications networking continues to generate interesting news.

I’m happy to work with a great team of experienced reporters: Monica Alleven covers wireless with a specialty in wireless tech, Mike Robuck writes about wired networks and taps into his recent experience with network virtualization, and Ben Munson gets to cover the relatively glamorous world of video streaming. In addition, we’ll soon be announcing a new editor of FierceWireless, whom you can meet if you happen to be traveling to the annual MWC conference in Barcelona, Spain, in February.

Finally, Fierce publications are owned by Questex, a media company with a multitude of business-to-business websites, newsletters and events. In 2019, we’ve been directed to "make friends" with our sister brands, so you may also see some rich synergies in your daily news as different publications collaborate with each other.

We look forward to keeping you informed about the business and technology of telecom networks.