Direct Marketer of the Year Brook Holmberg, Circulation Directo
Successfully Carrying On a Mission to Serve Mankind in the Face of Near Impossible Odds
By Denny Hatch
Brook Holmberg, a native of Minnesota, graduated in 1989 from The Principia, a liberal arts college for Christian Scientists in St. Louis, where he studied English literature and political science. In 1992, he was offered an internship at The Monitor Channel, a television channel in Boston, so he packed up his worldly goods and drove east. Between the time he left home and his arrival in Boston, the television arm of The Christian Science Monitor was no more.
So he started as a production intern for Monitor Radio and went on to become a freelance associate producer. In 1993, when he had no more work at Monitor Radio, he became an assistant in the circulation department of The Christian Science Monitor, the weekly newspaper founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1908.
A star was born. Holmberg had a natural affinity for numbers and learned how to do analysis and create reports. He even wrote pretty good copy.
The circulation manager went on maternity leave in 1997, and New York consultant Paul Goldberg was hired to mind the store and analyze the operation until she returned. Shortly after the circulation manager returned in 1998, she got a better offer and left. The publisher asked Goldberg if Brook Holmberg could handle the job, and Goldberg gave him an unequivocal affirmative.
As Goldberg said: "Brook was (and is) one of the smartest young men I had met in years. He was a Christian Scientist with a deep understanding of the product and a tremendous flair and liking for circulation, which is the most unglamorous end of the entire publishing business. This is a rarity, and with me looking over his shoulder, it was a perfect hire."