Today, the Baltimore Business Journal's editor-in-chief Joanna Sullivan reported that they got "duped" by one of the newspaper's "40 Under 40" winners, which debuted this week. Mike Brenner, who is the co-founder and CEO of tech incubator Betamore, had his identical twin brother Dan show up to the BBJ photo shoot and pose for him instead. He even offered up a clue in his write-up, describing himself as an "identical twin who still enjoys the occasional prank."
When we heard about the story, we immediately flipped back to our October issue, in which we named Mike Brenner a "40 Under 40" honoree. Did we get duped as well? "No that was really me at your photo shoot," Mike said with a laugh on the phone today. "Dan and I have done these kinds of pranks before and I just thought, 'Wouldn't it be funny?' I also feel like my brother deserves a lot of credit for the work he's done, so I wanted to shed some light on him. I thought it would be harmless."
Sullivan, however, disagreed and uninvited Mike to the paper's "40 Under 40" bash next month. "I'm just a stick-in-the-mud newspaper editor who still worries about our readers getting the correct information," she wrote. "The BBJ’s credibility is everything. When we make a mistake, we correct it. And in this case, a mere correction wasn’t enough."
While the old switcheroo was light-hearted in nature, Mike admits it got him thinking: "It's been an overwhelming year for me and I'm very appreciative of all these awards," he says. "But it is a little tough for me to feel like I can stand up there for these honors like I'm curing cancer or something when people are out there doing much more important things. I try not to take myself so seriously."
We'll have to see if the BBJ changes its mind about that party invitation.