Veteran business journalist and Broadcasting & Cable contributing editor Brent Felgner passed away from cancer on Oct. 26 at his father's home in Florida, to which he and his wife had relocated earlier this year. Felgner was 57 years old.
“Our entire team at Broadcasting & Cable mourns the loss of our dear friend,” said B&C Editor-in-Chief Ben Grossman. “Fantastic journalists are rare, but greatpeople are even tougher to come by, and today we are mourning the loss of someone who defined both categories.”
A journalist with broad interests, Felgner also contributed as a writer and editor to several other publications owned by B&C parent company Reed Business Information, including Home Textiles Today, Multichannel News, TWICE, Playthings and Gifts & Decorative Accessories. His work for Playthings covering an epochal shift in the New York toy industry earned the magazine a Neal Award, the trade publishing industry's highest journalism prize.
It was at Home Textiles Today that Felgner met and married his wife, Desiree Nunez, who at the time was the publication's art director. In 1997, the pair formed their own graphic, design and editorial-services company, Gotham MediaWorks.
Before beginning his journalism career, Felgner helped run an early campaign for current New York Senator Chuck Schumer. He went on to work as a reporter for the Bergen Record in New Jersey, then worked as a reporter for a New Jersey radio station.
He entered trade journalism as senior editor of Discount Store News (now Retailing Today) and later became editor of Tobacco & Candy News.
Felgner's tenacity was legendary among his colleagues. In recent years, he bird-dogged the home textile industry's two most significant bankruptcy proceedings—Pillowtex and WestPoint Stephens. When each property went to auction, he kept vigil from early morning until well into the evening, standing post outside the auction sites until the principals emerged late at night to report the outcome of the bidding.
In addition to being a greatly admired professional, he was also beloved by many who worked with him. “Brent was a tremendous human being with a great, great heart,” said Jennifer Marks, Home Textiles Today Editor-in-Chief. “There are several generations of HTTers who are richer personally and professionally for knowing him.”
He is survived by his wife; his father, Hans; and his son, Scott.
There will be no formal services in Florida. Later this year, the family will organize a memorial service in New York for friends and colleagues.
Anyone wishing to commemorate his life is asked to donate to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Society of Professional Journalists. Checks should be made out to “Sigma Delta Chi Foundation” and sent to: Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208. Please include a small note or notation on the memo line of the check to read: “In Memory of Brent Felgner.”