Pamela Loeser - Editor in Chief
Before coming to work for CML, I ran my own freelance copyediting business for 17 years. One day in the fall of 2000 I received a phone call from Sondra Mochson, CML’s newly promoted editor in chief, who told me there was an opening for an associate editor and wondered if I might be interested in applying for it. Until that moment, I’d had no idea that such a wonderful free service even existed, much less that it was located within commuting distance of my home on Long Island.
Shortly after that fortuitous phone call, I joined the staff of CML, and 10 years later I became the editor in chief. I like to tell people that I read magazines for a living, and watch them turn green with envy. The truth is, there’s a lot more to it than putting my feet up and flipping through The New Yorker, but it’s still officially The Best Job in the Universe.
It all comes down to the rewarding nature of our special project, which has been around for a half century and counting. It gives me and the other two editors a real thrill to discover brilliant magazine writing to share with those who, due to visual or physical disability, find it difficult or impossible to read standard print. Every day we receive what we refer to as “happy calls” from listeners eager to share feedback about the latest issue of CML. Usually they want to tell us how much they enjoyed a particular article or short story, and to keep up the good work!
Ann Schlegel-Kyrkostas - Senior Associate Editor
I guess you could say that I came to CML through the back door. It was the summer of 2005 and I was the full-time intern at the Sea Cliff (NY) Village Library, working toward a master’s degree in Library and Information Science. (Previous job experience varied widely, from restaurant wench to bookseller.) A woman approached the front desk with a stack of magazines and asked if we would be interested in accepting a donation of some high-end literary journals that were marked up with lots of handwritten notes, or marginalia (a word you don’t hear every day). We got to chatting. One of the many things I learned about being a librarian is the art of asking as many questions as possible to try and pinpoint exactly what a person wants or needs from me (and while asking, to try not to assume I know what someone wants or needs from me. I believe they call this latter tendency “default reasoning” or “adaptive unconscious” or “contempt prior to investigation.” It’s tougher than it sounds.)
The woman’s name was Leah and she worked for Choice Magazine Listening, a nonprofit organization based in Port Washington which produces a free, audio magazine anthology for blind and print-disabled adults. She added that CML was always looking for volunteer readers to tape-record selected essays, poems, short stories, and interviews that were under consideration for the next issue, so that Leah and her fellow editors could assess their listening quality.
“You mean,” I asked, “as a volunteer, I would be reading the material out loud?” These final words rang with delight and enthusiasm and were pronounced in my most theatrical and musical tone.
“Yes,” Leah replied, and she gave me her number to arrange an audition.
The rest as they say, is history.
I volunteered weekly at CML for several months, graduated library school in May 2006, started as an associate editor in January 2007, and presently am happy as a clam.
Jay Popham- Associate Editor
Michael Tedeschi - Webmaster/Circulation Manager
I’ve been with CML since 2000. I started here as a college student working part-time, then moved to full-time upon my graduation in 2001. I’m currently CML's network administrator, webmaster, and circulation manager. When I first started working here I noticed a very strong reliance on typewriters. The technology age was alive and well, but not at CML. I knew I had found my calling. I’ve been working with computers from an early age, so I welcomed the challenge of bringing CML’s technology into the current century. I created and installed our network, crafted a website, and got everyone set up with computers. The transition took about a year to complete. I’m grateful to be able to work for such a wonderful organization, one that helps blind and visually impaired people enjoy magazines through audio anthologies.
Raquel Sime - Office Manager/Bookkeeper
David Graham Page - Outreach Consultant
I’ve been with Choice Magazine Listening since 2013. My role is to promote awareness of our free service far and wide in the United States. If you belong to, work, or volunteer for an organization that serves visually impaired or physically disabled adults, please get in touch: we’d love to discuss how our unique quarterly anthology of magazine writing can enrich lives (it’s very easy for individuals to sign up). If you’ve been enjoying our free service, please spread the word about CML among family, friends and those in your wider community: there’s no better recommendation than one that comes from a happy listener!