We have lost a dear friend and valued colleague: Bill Zalud, who passed away last month in Chicago.
Bill served as the Editor of both Security magazine and SDM magazine throughout his tenure, starting in 1987, and he spent more than three decades covering and shaping the security industry.
Shortly after I took on the Editor role in 2009 at Security magazine, former Publisher Mark McCourt encouraged me to meet Bill and to continue our working relationship with him. I was fortunate that Bill agreed, because his knowledge of the industry, our readers, our advertisers and their products and services was extremely helpful to me. He worked with us up until his passing, assisting with research, writing insightful articles, columns and blogs, and overall, providing guidance as our Editor Emeritus. He wrote the Zalud Report, a popular column about technology and industry trends, up until a few years ago. The archives of his column are available online at security magazine.com.
Bill had a warm smile, a hearty laugh, a kind soul, and a sense of flair with regards to his writing that I don’t believe can be taught in journalism school. His creative and quirky article headlines still make me laugh. He was a Vietnam War veteran, and he often wrote about his military experience in his Zalud Report.
No matter what assignment I gave him, even with a short deadline, his response to me was always, “Of course. You know that I am always here for you.” I will deeply miss him.
We have heard from a number of industry colleagues since Bill’s passing, many of whom share the same sentiments about Bill: that he was fair and respectful with industry editors; he was well-liked and respected; devoted to his work; classy and engaging; and overall, a pleasure to work with. Thank you to all who have reached out to our team to offer their condolences.
Mark McCourt, who worked with Bill for many years, had some interesting comments about Bill: “He was iconic in the security industry for decades. Everyone knew him, his mustache, and they read the Zalud Report. His prolific writing carried his wit and enthusiasm onto magazine pages and into reader’s minds, which is truly an art. He was critical to the vision and content for the new Security magazine. He proved a great sounding board and advisor who contributed greatly to our success. In 2006, when the first ‘Most Influential People in Security’ was launched and a nominee list was drafted, Bill insisted McGruff the Crime Dog be included with the insight, and noted ‘He’s done as much as anyone else on this list to influence security.’ McGruff was removed from the list through my invoking an 11th hour ‘humans only’ rule; but Bill was unfazed, and the Zalud Report documented McGruff’s influence. He even scored an interview with the crime-fighting canine. His wry smile and warmth were always present, and his voice will be missed. I was privileged to know and work with him.”
Security and SDM Publisher Chris Ward added: “It was a pleasure working with Bill on Security magazine. Bill was a kind-hearted, supportive and caring individual. He was always willing to go the extra mile for our media brands, and he had one of the strongest work ethics that I have ever seen. He was an integral piece of Security editorial content for countless years. Bill will be sorely missed at BNP Media. On behalf of the staffs of Security magazine and SDM magazine, we are eternally grateful to Bill for his years of service. Rest in peace, Bill.”
Thank you, Bill, for being a part of our family for many years.