That's an interesting story...but not quite how I remember it.
As I recall, many of the brand forums were hurting for things to post about. Everyone wanted to grow the forums but no one knew exactly how. I suggested that I could use my journalist credentials to give the appropriate mods access to the brand's press releases on the brand's website. Everyone liked the idea, so I did just that. There wasn't any "combing" - they simply had access to the press releases that they could then post - pre-Basel as I recalled. Giving the Hamilton Forum mods (as an example) access to the Hamilton brand press releases seemed like the right thing to do. So that's what was done. That practice mirrored what other sites - and other mods - routinely did and still do. Just setting the record straight.
Nice to see some familiar names in this thread. As for my departure, the mod team at the time seemed to feel they could do a better job of running the site than I could. So I stepped away. The almost immediate nose-dive of the forum was unfortunate.
BTW, I do more than just photograph firearms these days - I'm a competitive shooter. I'll be competing in my second World Speed Shooting Championship this Spring. And I still do a lot of freelance writing and photography - in the firearms industry. But I still do wear a Rolex on my wrist every day - I have on my white dial Explorer II today.