WE'RE 200

6 Mar 2024

Woohoo! CX Magazine’s 200th Edition!

by Jason Allen

Happy Birthday to us! This very edition, CX200 March 2024, is our bicentennial! In truth though, CX is actually older than that. Let’s have a look back through our chronology through some milestones and how we came to be here:

Our Ancestor

1990 – Channels


The magazine that would one day become CX started life as ‘Channels’, an in-house magazine produced by Jands for its dealers and customers. Its first edition came out 15 Dec 1990, and quite famously had the date ’15 Dec 1991’ printed on the cover. It was edited by one Julius Grafton and contained news about Jands’ purchase of concert production company Samuelsons, piggyback plugs being banned, a review of the Soundcraft 200 Delta mixing desk, and a Production Diary including Aerosmith and The Angels. 18 editions of Channels were published, the final being in December 1992.

Our Parent

1993 – Connections


With Channels outgrowing its in-house status and starting to carry ads from Jands’ competitors, it was sold to Julius Grafton, who renamed it Connections and set about covering the industry as a whole. The first edition in February 1993 had Elton John’s stage set-up on the cover, a review of Guns N’ Roses at Eastern Creek Speedway, an interview with Bruce Jackson on his days with Elvis, and a huge classified ad section (remember those?). Connections became the industry bible at a time when concert production was becoming more sophisticated and the gear more complex. Installations and AV were expanding. Connections started at the height of the analog era, presided over the birth of digital, and ended 10 years and 105 editions later in January 2003, as we entered the dawn of networked technology.

CX is Born

March 2003

CX as we now know it (which is actually short for ‘Connections’ and not ‘Customer Experience’ as the many spam emails I get each month assume) came to life as a bimonthly publication covering March and April 2003. In contrast to Connections, it promised “Product comparisons with an actual winner based on performance. More reading, longer articles, more pictures. Less advertisements. No more market reports or tracking guides. More accurate subediting!”

It was the dawn of a new digital era, and its corresponding website, then at www.juliusmedia.com, was also born. New product announcements in CX1 included the Yamaha PM5000 analog mixing desk, one of the last large format touring desks ever made – the digital PM1D came out two years before and the PM5D was just around the corner. Australian band Taxiride and their touring production crew were profiled. Plastic 12” and horn loudspeakers were compared. The Rolling Stones summer tour of Australia was covered, as was the new SAE campus at Byron Bay.

My First Edition

CX 81 May 2013

In January 2013, I quit my day job and started VCS Creative Services, providing custom content for the AV and entertainment technology industries – writing, photo and video. Like all new businesses the first three months were full of hustling and very little payoff. I visited Julius Grafton at CX head office in Chatswood to hawk my wares, and he almost immediately put me on a retainer as a writer and to run the Melbourne office. It provided the foundation and steady modest income to build the rest of my business.

My first piece was the Rutledge Engineering profile. I also started working on the video side of CX, appearing in ‘Gearbox’ product reviews on YouTube with Jimmy Den Ouden and on the weekly panel show ‘The Hump’.

Change of Editorship

CX135 April 2018

In March 2018 while were touring on ENTECH Roadshow, Julius Grafton announced that after 28 years, he was handing the editorial reins over to me. The April 2018 edition was my first full magazine as editor. I was also writing features. To be honest, I was not prepared for the dramatic increase in workload, but with Julius’s guiding hand, I got on top of it.

New Layout Team

CX139 August 2019

In a classic ‘new guy’ move, I brought in a team I’d worked with before. Mark Underwood and Alisha Hill, who I’d worked with at Yamaha, had both started their own businesses in graphic design and layout, and I hired them to do CX each month, bringing layout back home to Australia. For many reasons torturous and involved, layout was being done by a company based in Ecuador for the couple of years previous. Mark and Alisha still do excellent work, including on this very issue!

Change of Ownership

CX155 February 2020

The deal was done in December 2019. Julius Grafton sold us the media company and all of its assets, and kept the events business that still runs ENTECH and other travelling trade shows. The first issue with VCS Creative Services as owners and publishers of CX was the February 2020 edition. For the record, the ‘under new management’ graphic on the cover was all Mark and Alisha’s idea.


CX157 April 2020

We had two good trading months in January and February 2020. Then, Black Friday 13 March happened. The events industry shuttered overnight. Monday 16 March I took phone call after phone call from advertisers regretfully pulling out. CX lost 80% of its revenue that week, though that was a mercy compared to the 100% loss most other business in this industry suffered. As we had started a new business entity to own the magazine, we didn’t qualify for support for months. The magazine didn’t start to recover financially for a year. Again, Julius Grafton was an invaluable source of support through this hellish period, in which we continued to print and distribute a magazine every month.


CX177 February 2022

By February 2022, Melbourne had emerged bleary eyed from the world’s longest lockdown. Hope was back in the air, and (some) money was once again in the bank. We celebrated with a new look, provided by Mark and Alisha. We love our RGB-shift branding!


CX200 March 2024

Spoiler alert – we survived! And in fact, we thrive. We have a bigger writing team than ever, we’ve expanded the subscription base, and we’re loving what we do. A huge thank you to everyone who kept us alive during the pandemic, and a shoutout to everyone who’s come on board to support us since!

All of the publications mentioned above right back to Channels 01 and everything in between are all readable and downloadable from our website: www.cxnetwork.com.au/cx-magazine/


Published monthly since 1991, our famous AV industry magazine is free for download or pay for print. Subscribers also receive CX News, our free weekly email with the latest industry news and jobs.