In the Beginning . . .
Howard Penn Hudson was the guiding spirit behind The Newsletter on Newsletters for more than 30 years, acquiring the five-year-old publication in 1969 and serving as publisher and editor until March 1999.
He also a descendent of Henry Hudson, Wiliam Penn and Ralph Waldo Emerson. and was the catalyst behind the founding of what is now the Specialized Information Publishers Association.
In his early days of publishing NL/NL Hudson was prescient enough to realize the field was unorganized and needed an association. Earlier some newsletter publishers had started the Washington Independent Newsletter Association. Howard founded a similar organization in New York City, whose original members included publishers still active today in the newsletter field: Jack O’Dwyer and Marvin Shanken.
By 1977 he helped merge the two associations into the national Newsletter Publishers Association. In a typical act of generosity, he “gave” the association the annual international newsletter conference he had hosted for four years.
For his efforts Howard was awarded the association’s only Life/Founder Member status. In 1991 he was named NPA’s Publisher of the Year.
For more than 20 years he sponsored the seminar, “How to Start a Newsletter,” to which dozens, if not hundreds, of publishers trace their own newsletter success.
In 1982 he wrote the first comprehensive book on newsletters, Publishing Newsletters, published in two editions by Charles Scribner’s Sons. It is now in its third edition.
Howard was just about as influential–and honored–in the field of public relations. He founded Public Relations Quarterly in 1995 and remained its editor-publisher until his death
In 1968, he started Hudson’s Washington Directory, the comprehensive guide to the entire capital press corps. He became a member of the Public Relations Society of America’s College of Fellows in 2002.
A 30-Year Veteran Takes the Helm
Today The Newsletter on Newsletters is published and edited by Joel Whitaker, an award-winning business journalist who has been publishing newsletters — principally Kane’s Beverage News Daily — for more than 30 years.
Whitaker has been a director and treasurer of SIPA’s predecessor, the Newsletter Publishers Association and a director of its affiliated foundation. He is currently secretary of the National Press Club of Washington, D.C.