US Stamps

By Charles Snee

New opportunity on Linn’s editorial staff; Bigalke new 'American Philatelist' editor

December 05, 2014 07:17 AM

On page 21 of this issue, there is an advertisement announcing an opening on the Linn’s Stamp News editorial staff.

This ad began running in the Dec. 8 issue, following the departure of Linn’s senior editor Jay Bigalke.

We would like to find an experienced, enthusiastic stamp collector who can write effectively about all aspects of the hobby.

Knowledge of United States stamps also would be very helpful.

Linn’s commitment to growth in the digital/online world means that the ideal candidate will be well-versed in the ways and means of social media and how to effectively communicate Linn’s content to our growing audience.

If you would like to turn a fun, exciting hobby into your avocation, please take a look at the announcement on page 21 for additional details and instructions for submitting your resume.

Beginning Dec. 1, Jay assumed duties as editor of the American Philatelist, the monthly journal of the American Philatelic Society.

He replaces editor Barb Boal, who is set to retire at the end of this year.

Jay worked for Linn’s for almost a decade, joining the staff in June 2005, shortly after graduating from the University of Wisconsin.

At that time, Jay was well-known to most of the Linn’s editors.

During his teen and college years, he was an active first-day cover collector.

In 2000, he launched his own line of cacheted FDCs, called FPMG Cachets. The acronym stands for future postmaster general.

Jay also became a regular poster on the old Delphi Forums-hosted Virtual Stamp Club, which is now called the Stamp Collecting Forum.

My first direct encounter with him came during the summer of 2001, when I was a senior editor for Linn’s.

We were preparing to attend the APS Stampshow in Chicago, where the U.S. Postal Service planned to announce details of the 2002 U.S. stamp program to members of the philatelic media.

In those days, the USPS unveiled at Stampshow most of the commemorative, special and definitive stamp designs that had been approved for the following year.

Several weeks before the show, I scored one of my biggest scoops as a Linn’s reporter, an essentially complete outline of the 2002 program, before the Postal Service had said anything about it.

My source was close to a USPS employee who had inside knowledge of the upcoming 2002 stamps.

Within days of publication of my story about the 2002 program in the Aug. 20, 2001, Linn’s, Jay contacted me, trying to extract information from me regarding my source.

In fact, he called more than once.

That persistence served Jay and Linn’s well during his years with us.

He was our go-to reporter for all aspects of the U.S. stamp program, and he had a great knack for discovering information about upcoming U.S. stamps ahead of USPS press releases.

While this determination sometimes rubbed USPS officials the wrong way, Jay well understood that our first allegiance is to our readers, who expect to read the news as soon as we have it in hand.

We wish Jay well in this next phase of his career, and we look forward to working with him.