Eric Lundquist, former editor in chief of eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week who covered the IT industry for more than 35 years, died Sept. 6 from the effects of a heart attack suffered on Aug. 30.
Lundquist, a former competitive long-distance runner and sports enthusiast, was bicycling near his home in Andover, Mass., when he suffered a massive heart attack. He remained in a coma until he was removed from life support and died on Sept. 5 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Lundquist was named editor in chief of Ziff Davis Publishing Co.’s PC Week in 1992, one of the top national trade newspapers covering the IT industry. From 1992 until December 2008, Lundquist guided PC Week through many transitions, including a complete rebranding of the publication in 2000 under the name eWEEK as the industry evolved from a world of desktop PCs and shrink-wrapped software packages to the World Wide Web and cloud computing.
Lundquist was also a long-time writer and editor of Spencer F. Katt, the well-wired news tipster and cat about town that was a favorite of PC Week and eWEEK readers.
From June 2009 until November 2011, Lundquist was vice president of strategic content and later senior vice president, editorial, with eWEEK’s parent company Ziff Davis Enterprise.
From November 2011 until early 2012, Lundquist was vice president and editorial analyst with United Business Media, where he developed content, products and audiences for the InformationWeek Business Technology Network.
At the time of his death, Lundquist was a technology analyst for Ziff Brothers Investments, seeking out new IT products and companies. But he kept his hand in IT journalism by contributing regular news analysis columns and blogs for eWEEK. His final column was published on eWEEK Aug. 28.
Lundquist’s career began in technology journalism at Electronic News in 1979, which was owned by Fairchild Publications, as he worked his way up the editorial management ladder. Lundquist also worked as a news reporter at the Dedham Transcript before moving into technology journalism.
John Dodge, a former PC Week news editor and current IT community manager with IDG, said he first met Lundquist in 1976 when they were graduate students at the Boston University College of Communications Journalism Department.
“I knew he would be a lifelong friend, although I thought we had different temperaments. There was a little bit of bit yin and yang in our friendship. He was a calm, steady guy,” said Dodge, who described himself as more the frenetic street journalist “turning in multiple directions” in those early days.
Dodge takes credit for recommending Lundquist as a candidate to become eWEEK editor in chief in 1992, feeling that his news reporting and editing experience would be a perfect fit for eWEEK.
Lundquist’s quietly confident personality is what made him a success as an editor in chief, said Dodge.
“He was who he appeared to be. He was humble, and he cherished his working-class roots. He knew who he was, and that allowed him to hobnob with the high and mighty in the technology industry,” Dodge said. At the same time he was able to keep things in perspective “as a person and a journalist,” he said. “He never took things all that seriously,” Dodge said, who posted his own tribute to Lundquist Sept. 8.
Eric Lundquist, Former eWEEK Editor in Chief, Dies at 64
Lundquist’s death was particularly shocking for Dodge because he last saw him when they met for breakfast on Aug. 21 when “he looked the picture of health.”
“It’s a big void in my life. I’m going to miss him really a lot.” Dodge noted that it’s difficult to lose a friend he has known for the longest time in his adult life. “He was a pal … he just had no pretentions and he was smart. He was a confidant, and I was a confidant for him.”
His sudden death leaves a void for many others at eWEEK and in the IT industry, where he was well known as writer, analyst and speaker.
“Eric was not just widely known in our industry; he was also widely respected and liked by all who worked with him,” said Eileen Feretic, editorial director of eWEEK. “His sharp intellect was matched by a warm, caring nature. Eric was a true gentleman, in the best sense of that word, and he will be missed by all the people who were lucky enough to have known him.
“A journalist with talent and integrity, Eric was an essential element of many eWEEK successes. For many years, he was the face of eWEEK to our readers, advertisers and hundreds of others in the tech industry,” Feretic said. “He also took the time to mentor young reporters and show them what journalism should be: a profession of dedication and principle.”
Bill Schmitt, vice president and general manager of QuinStreet Enterprise, eWEEK’s parent company, said, “eWEEK is deeply saddened to lose one of its founding fathers. Eric was a true trailblazer in B2B tech media and he was an amazingly positive role model for all who had the pleasure to work with him. He will be sorely missed.”
As news of Lundquist’s death started circulating among the IT journalism community, many of Lundquist’s friends and colleagues hastened to post their thoughts online about the man who for many was a professional mentor as well as their editor.
“Eric was a mentor in that he shared his encyclopedic knowledge with me any time I needed something. He knew every sector in IT and all the key people in them as well as anybody, and he knew how they all interconnected as well as anybody,” Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK’s editor of features and analysis, wrote in a tribute to Lundquist on Facebook.
“He’ll be missed on many, many levels—by folks like us who knew him personally and by thousands of IT pros who absorbed his work and profited greatly from his insight and advice. He was a class act, and that makes it all the harder to say goodbye,” Preimesberger wrote.
Lundquist’s survivors include his wife, Sherry Lundquist, a daughter Kate, sons Adam, Jesse and Alex, and grandson Calvin.
The family has scheduled a memorial service Sept. 20 at the South Church in Andover, Mass. Donations can be made to Beyond Soccer, a sports-based youth development organization that Lundquist was most active with. The family also suggests that as alternatives donations be made to the American Heart Association and the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike).
Editor’s note: This article was corrected with the official date of Eric Lundquist’s death and with a revised list of his survivors.