Brad Weissberg with VenuesNow marketing director Samantha Le at the All-Stars reception Sept. 9 in New York City.
VenuesNow senior writer found stories, friends across the industry
When you picked up the phone and Brad Weissberg was on the other end of the line, you didn’t have to ask who it was. His gravelly voice was a distinctive calling card.
Brad’s voice as a writer was just as distinct, and he used it to tell stories from across the venues industry for VenuesNow from the June 2016 issue until last month, when he died of a fast-moving cancer that left his family and friends shocked and devastated. He was 56.
Brad amassed bylines while on staff at The National Enquirer, Star Magazine, Famous, Women’s Day, Australia and NW before he arrived at VenuesNow’s predecessor, Venues Today, hired as a reporter by magazine founder Linda Deckard.
“He embraced the role wholeheartedly, throwing his massive experience interviewing and writing into that role with Brad-like intensity,” Deckard said.
Brad understood both business and entertainment, making him a great fit for the magazine. “He was also a flashpoint for camaraderie in the office, bringing laughter and loud debate to social gatherings,” Deckard said.
He enjoyed being a generalist and was comfortable reporting on everything from family shows to sports, concessions to technology and everything in between. That brought him into contact with people from across the many sectors that make up VenuesNow’s coverage, and he made connections through both his professionalism and his personality.
“I remember him to be such a generous reporter and with a great way of getting folks to just ‘chat’ without being ‘threatened’ by an interview,” said Maureen Andersen, president and CEO of the International Ticketing Association.
It was that ability that helped him produce memorable work for the magazine at a difficult time in the industry, after the mass shooting at a country music event in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, that resulted in the deaths of 59 people.
“I witnessed Brad, in the wake of the tragic mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, fly off to Las Vegas and do some of the finest on-the-ground reporting I have ever seen,” said Andy Gensler, Media & Conferences executive editor for Oak View Group, VenuesNow’s owner. “His contributions, can-do spirit and kindness will be sorely missed.”
Brad talked to Tom Cantone, president of sports and entertainment at Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, for many stories over the years, including a profile that ran in the April 2019 issue. “It was always a good feeling when I saw Brad’s name pop up on my radar,” Cantone said. “We were good friends and I was blessed to have him be part of my career over the years. He made me feel so welcomed and respected and he carried himself the same way. If we had more people like Brad the world would be a much happier place.”
Deckard recalled “a point in his life when he was considering another profession, but came back to reporting in short order. ‘That’s who I am, I’m a writer,’ he declared.”
Brad Weissberg leaves behind his husband, Christian, as well as other family, friends, co-workers and many years’ worth of readers.