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Ed Sullivan was a radio and television pioneer. Though he was a print journalist at first, he shifted his focus first to radio, and, later, television. The Toast of the Town (later named The Ed Sullivan Show) ran on CBS from 1948 to 1971. For 23 years, Sullivan’s Sunday evening live program was where Americans turned to see something new, and also to see entertainment that was comforting. TV critic David Bianculli is credited for commenting, “Before MTV, Sullivan presented rock acts. Before Bravo, he presented jazz… Sullivan discovered, anointed, and popularized young comedians… Ed Sullivan was where the choice was.”

Each week, Sullivan’s show had something for everyone, bringing the whole family—and indeed the whole nation—together for an hour of entertainment. Regular performers (Topo Giggio!) maintained and grew their audiences by appearing on the show, and new acts (The Beatles, The Doors, The Rolling Stones) could launch a career with one appearance on Sullivan’s stage. Yes, there were other variety shows, but Sullivan was the star-maker. Sullivan didn’t start with intentions of becoming an entertainment powerhouse, but how he put together his show certainly worked magic.

This month, we celebrate the impact and reach of the IPC APEX EXPO slated for January 26–31, 2019, in San Diego, California. If there is an equivalent to the Ed Sullivan Show in our industry, it’s IPC APEX EXPO. Have something truly new? It needs to be seen here at IPC APEX EXPO; long-standing products and evolutionary advances from industry stalwarts will grow their installed base here, too. There are other industry shows, but the must-go show for our industry is IPC APEX EXPO; appropriately, it seems that this is the event’s 23rd year, matching Ed Sullivan’s television run.

In an earlier life as a software engineer at an ECAD company, the product manager for my project once said, "The only deadline that will never, ever slide is the tradeshow. We have to be ready for the show no matter what." Which brings us to the cover image for this issue: the stool on the stage, behind the curtain. For those of us who’ve taken the stage or floor, we recognize the tension and the excitement that go with the moment of taking your place just before the curtain opens. In entertainment, once the curtain goes up, you’re on—for better or for worse. Anyone who has had to demonstrate a product that isn’t acting the way it’s supposed to, will know that same feeling.

To view the full article, which appeared in the December 2018 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.

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