With our first anniversary just past, I've been receiving an unusual number of friendly letters from readers who thought this was a good time to express their feelings about SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Here are a few people who have been nice enough to let me pass them on to you:
Poet Carl Sandburg wrote from Flat Rock, N.C.: "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED over the year has been unbelievably good. It has been surpassingly original in 40 ways, in writing, in illustrations, in a certain peculiar dignity and in a quality of recorded history. And I could go farther."
Mr. Samuel Goldwyn sent a letter from Hollywood: "I want you to know that I think you've done a brilliant job of publishing with SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. I find the writing on a consistently high level, and the photography, particularly the color, is really exceptional."
From Mr. G. A. Gidley of Gimbel Bros. in Philadelphia: "Suffice it to say that every week my interest in your new magazine has increased until now it has become a must among the important periodicals that I have time to read."
Words like these are always good to hear. But I thought you might be interested too in part of another letter, one which TIME Inc.'s President Roy E. Larsen recently wrote to a number of our friends in business and advertising; for it tells what our readers have been saying to us in terms of actual subscription renewals. Wrote Larsen:
"The final, overwhelming piece of evidence that we have created a great new magazine comes from our charter subscribers—those people who bought the new magazine on faith.
"This past month their one-year charter subscriptions were up for renewal. Understandably, there has been a good deal of interest in how many of these charter subscribers would renew. I am able to report now that the renewals from this first large group of charter subscribers are rapidly and surely approaching the extremely high figure (in my experience) of 70%. And over 40% of these renewals are for two years or more!
"To us this is a truly remarkable endorsement not only of our new magazine, but of the premise on which it was founded."