Chris Breen announced Tuesday his departure from Macworld magazine to work for Apple. Well, he didn't specify Apple, saying only that he was going to work for, "a Cupertino-based technology company you may be familiar with." But that's Apple.
This is the second major hire Apple has made from the ranks of Apple-centric journalist. In August of 2014, Apple hired Anand Lal Shimpi, the founder of Anandtech. Both hires show that Apple's PR department has taken on a different air since Katy Cotton left Apple earlier in 2014.
Good Time, Bad Times
This is bittersweet news for me. On the one hand, my friend Chris Breen is working for one of the best companies on the planet, and he probably got a phat raise for the privilege of doing so. Hooray!
On the other, the community is losing an important voice. As Mr. Breen wrote, "As part of this change I’ll be leaving the public stage as Chris Breen Technology Guy. [...] Until further notice, my technology writing/speaking/radio/video/podcasting days are at an end."
Which is a bummer.
Chris Breen has been writing about Apple for 30 some-odd years. Actually, a lot of them were likely odd. His career includes stints at MacUser—a magazine I dearly loved—and Macworld. When Macworld's print side shut down in late 2014, Mr. Breen stayed at Macworld.com as Senior Editor [Correction: an earlier version of this article included the wrong title for Mr. Breen at Macworld.com].
Mr. Breen is a gifted writer. He's funny. He knows his Macs and iPhones, and he knows how to convey ideas and instructions. He's funny in person, too, and is a great speaker. A very gifted speaker, in fact. He can present with the best and he can moderate a panel and make it look easy (hint: it's not easy).
Chris Breen is thoughtful and considerate, and he has delivered a few sharp lessons to me as a musician over the years. Speaking of which, Chris Breen knows keyboards. He's been a professional musician even longer than a professional writer. And his voice. Wowza, that voice. He has frequently moved me when singing for the Macworld All Stars, a band I have the distinct honor of playing in.
Favorites include "Whipping Post" and "Feeling Alright."
Mr. Breen said specifically that "Chris Breen the Musician Guy" will still crop up, but I have to tell you I'm bummed we're losing Chris Breen the Technology Guy. All that awesome has been something me and everyone else has largely taken for granted, and it will be missed all the more because we took it for granted.
So good luck, Chris Breen the Apple Guy. Everyone at The Mac Observer wishes you nothing but the best! I personally look forward to seeing the Musician Guy again, but I will miss the Technology Guy. For everything that version of you has brought to the Mac (and now iPhone/iWatch/Car) community, I thank you and salute you.
Oh, can I use your Apple employee discount?