The Hardware Connection magazine is changing editorial leadership as of January 1, 2024. Founding editor and principal Chris Jensen is retiring, and Doug Donaldson, who has served as the publication’s senior editor, is stepping into the role of editor of The Hardware Connection, the hardware industry’s leading digital publication.
Jensen founded The Hardware Connection in 2009 with Tom Chasteen, a third-generation hardware retailer. Although Jensen is retiring from his duties as editor at the end of 2023, he will remain involved with the company as a principal. Jensen’s career in the hardware industry spans 35 years, and he has guided The Hardware Connection to win 16 awards for editorial excellence in the past nine years.
Donaldson served as the publication’s senior editor this past year and has written extensively about the hardware industry since 1999, visiting stores across the nation and interviewing more than a thousand retailers. A regular contributor to The Hardware Connection since 2012, Donaldson has compiled the How’s Business section of the publication in addition to writing profiles of independent hardware retailers.
“Doug has contributed lots of great articles to The Hardware Connection over the past decade, and he has in-depth knowledge of all aspects of hardware retailing,” Jensen says. “Doug has lots of great ideas for how to take our editorial content to another level, and I know he will work hard to deliver the type of retail-focused content that our readers have come to expect.”
This past year, Donaldson wrote several cover stories for The Hardware Connection, including Surviving and Adapting for 135 Years in the January issue, How to Revitalize & Reinvent Business with C/I Sales in the March issue and most recently, How to better Serve Customers with Handyman Services in the November/December issue. He also contributed several feature articles to the award-winning Century Club series the magazine produced in 2019.
“I have big shoes to fill as editor of The Hardware Connection, and it’s been an enjoyable education working so closely with Chris this past year,” says Donaldson, who will also operate as a principal of the company. “I hope to continue the magazine’s tradition of editorial excellence.”
Donaldson began writing about the hardware industry as an editor at Hardware Retailer/Do-It-Yourself Retailing, where he also worked on custom publications for NRHA and served as editor of Farm Supply Retailing. In addition to his more than two decades of writing about the hardware industry, Donaldson has been a freelance writer for several leading consumer publications including Men’s Health, Better Homes & Gardens and Men’s Journal. Donaldson has also written and edited custom content for several Fortune 500 companies.
“I’m excited about the experience Doug brings to the publication, and I look forward to aggressive coverage of the hardware industry,” says Craig Cope, The Hardware Connection’s publisher/principal. “We will continue to expand our reach as the industry’s first and leading all-digital publication, and Doug will help us take the next step.”
Donaldson resides with his wife, Liesa, in Beacon, N.Y., about an hour north of New York City, and makes frequent trips to his local hardware store for do-it-yourself projects that sometimes even get finished.