Fifty seven years ago, Ed Bobit took a huge gamble and quit his job working as a sales rep for Mcgraw Hill to start Automotive Fleet magazine. He took that germ of an idea and turned it into a vibrant business serving a lot of different markets. His son, Ty Bobit, took that idea even further and built a small print publishing company into a multi-media industry leader that focused not just on print magazines but also on events, tradeshows, websites, email newsletters, and lead generation. It was a great run for the more than 170 Bobiteers that worked with them to build the business.
We’re about to launch the most audacious stage for the company yet as the Bobit family has decided to sell the family business to Westport, Conn.-based Gemspring Capital.
Bobit Business Media has grown tremendously over the past few years. The company has essentially doubled in size since the Great Recession. Our CEO, Ty, has done a great job leading us down a path that allowed for that consistent growth. But he also realizes that in order to continue down that path, we need to make some big investments in technology and in people. That kind of growth is best accomplished with an investor owner like we have now.
A lot of things are going to change over the coming years with your favorite fleet media business. We’re going to launch a lot of new digital products that will help you do your job better. We’re going to get a lot more serious about data, about benchmarking, and about solutions that will help you manage your fleet more efficiently. There will be a lot of change in the way we approach the industries we cover.
Some things won’t change. We’ll be just as committed as ever to delivering high quality content to the fleet market. Ed Bobit founded this company on the belief that fleet managers needed a dependable source of information on the latest trends and topics that would help them be the best they could be at managing their business. That will never change. We remain laser focused on that goal just as much as the original staff was in 1961.
Bobit Business Media was founded as a family business and while it will no longer be owned by the family, it will still be a family business in many ways. Ed’s grandsons, Blake and Ben, will continue to work with the new company and do even more to help us grow in the digital and trucking markets. There will also continue to be lots of Browns involved in the business. My dad, Bob, is now officially retired and a member of the fleet Hall of Fame, but my brother, Bob Jr., will continue to run our business in the Midwest. I’m going to have a few new corporate responsibilities but will continue to serve as the group publisher for all things fleet around here. And Chris Brown, no relation, will continue to champion our rental, small fleet, and mobility initiatives. And, of course, Mike Antich will continue to serve as our editorial director and lead our team of content producers.
It was a great run for Ed, Ty and the Bobit family. And while we’re going to miss that family influence, we’re all incredibly optimistic and excited about the future and about the next evolution of this great company over the next 57 years.