David Churbuck, my former boss wrote about the real unsung heroes of Forbes.com and it made me misty eyed.
I want to say that two people are the true unsung heroes behind Forbes’ high valuation as it is about to be sold by the Forbes family and Elevation partners (most likely to a foreign buyer). CEO Tim Forbes embraced the digital future with no reservations, immersed himself in it, and knew — as clearly as Adam and Om Malik and me and everyone else involved — that one day the online version of the brand would be bigger and more valuable than the printed one. He drove us, he made it happen. He wrote the checks, put up with our shenanigans and he told the nay-sayers to shut up and get on board.
Tim was just fantastic — and whenever I interacted with him, he was curious and believer in the Internet. But there was one man who kept the whole thing going – David. He kept all the naysayers — including many who have since then reinvented themselves as dot-gods — at bay. And while he could be frustratingly noncommittal, he was and still is the most encouraging editor a young technology reporter could have.
David lived the Internet. He dreamed of the future we all live in now. He, was and still is one of the clearest thinkers when it came to news and the Internet. It is a damn shame, he doesn’t get more public kudos, for long before the posers showed up, he was helping dig the trenches of Internet Journalism.
I have been blessed with great editors — Mukesh Khosla, Jason Pontin, Blaise Zerega, Josh Quittner and one and only David Churbuck — the first and true believer that a crazy guy, with a funny accent and a funny name could make it as a reporter. I loved working for him and would give me right arm to do that again. He taught me a vital lesson: pay it forward. I don’t care much for the pub anymore, but at one time we were doing stuff to be proud of. Go David — you were the reason I was there and so were the others — not including the opportunists, of course.