Can a general interest print magazine survive today in California? This one is going to try

cal-sundayStarting a print magazine at this time may seem like a fool-hardy endeavor, but make the publication about California and you know the founders must be sanatorium-bound; glossies about that state have not all been that successful (remember “New West”?)

But Editor Douglas McGray and Publisher Chas Edwards will launch California Sunday in October in print and on the web, iOS, Android, and Kindle. The print edition will be inserted into select Sunday issues of the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sacramento Bee newspapers.

The editorial will be “ambitious and rangy” and have dual editorial guideposts: It must be a great story and it must be unique or peculiar to California.

Typical readers will be men and women between 25-49 who work in creative industries, are heavy consumers of premium media, are early adopters of Apple products, and who do more international travel than average.

Douglas McGray, doug@californiasunday.com, @dougmcgray is editor and Jacqueline Bates, jackie@californiasunday.com, @jackiecbates is photography director.

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Patch is dead; long live EveryBlock

everyblockAOL’s Patch, the local network of community websites, is technically not dead (yet) and is not really AOL’s, either. It is owned by Hale Global and – much smaller – seems to be waiting for a buyer.

EveryBlock might be in the same shape, although owner Comcast insists they are running the network out of the goodness of their hearts. “This is truly a community engagement, community investment product for us,” Matt Summy, vice president of government affairs for Comcast’s Chicago region, said.

The network was live from 2008 to 2013 with owner NBC News citing “considerable” financial losses as the cause of the shut-down. Current owner Comcast relaunched the Chicago site early this year and has now re-opened the Philadelphia site with plans to add Houston, Denver and three other markets by year’s end.

“EveryBlock is a combination of many different types of local information – from public records like crime reports, to neighbor discussions, to photos people have taken in your neighborhood,” the “About” page states. Curiously, as much emphasis on local and person-level information that EveryBlock emphasizes, the company uses an impersonal website form to submit information.

Again, according to the “About” page, visitors will find four types of content on the EveryBlock homepages:

  • Neighbor messages – what your neighbors are talking about. (“Here’s the scoop on that new bakery coming to Main St.”)
  • Civic information – building permits, crime reports, restaurant inspections and more.
  • Media mentions – any time your neighborhood is mentioned in a media site, we’ll let you know about it.
  • Fun from across the Web – local photos posted to Flickr, user reviews of local businesses on Yelp, lost-and-found postings from Craigslist and more.

Enterprising readers of this blog can probably find many uses for these hyper-local sites.

Washington Post Magazine aims for “bigger, bolder” in redesign

Washington Post Magazine coverWashington Post Magazine has been redesigned with a modern look and larger format with space for more stories and new standing features.

The Sunday weekly ride-along with The Washington Post magazine features interesting stories about the life, people and places that define the region and about the history being made there. Now, they say they will bring readers more of them, showcasing photography, illustration and graphics about the area.

New features include the following:
Just Asking – Behind-the-scene interviews with notable Washingtonians
Apptitude – Reviews of new apps for your home, travel, or health and fitness
Plate Lab – Food editors Joe Yonan and Bonnie Benwick translate restaurant dishes into recipes to try at home
Crunched – Data-driven statistics about the region
Street Smarts – Spotlights the current places to be, shop or socialize on a block or neighborhood

The co-editors of the magazine are Joe Heim, joe.heim@washpost.com, @JoeHeim, who is also the Pop Culture Editor of the newspaper, and Lynn Medford, medfordl@washpost.com, who is also the Post’s Style Editor also overseeing the Sunday Style & Arts section. The executive editor is Liz Seymour, seymourl@washpost.com

‘Sister’ title to Marie Claire debuts

Branche magazine coverBranché is a new print magazine from the editors of Marie Claire. The free 42-page “pop-up magazine” will be hand distributed in certain neighborhoods in New York City. The title is a French word that loosely translates to “clued-in.”

The publication focuses on New York style and culture and is a “fun, quick read” according to those who have seen it. It features “cool people like Chloe Sevigny, Jane Bishop and Johanna Stout dishing on their favorite places, brands and activities; also included are beauty tips, a roundup of Instagram’s best food porn, and guides to New York hot spots.

Currently, Branché does not have a website but is featured on marieclaire.com. The publisher is planning to do another issue of Branché in the fall. Alexandra Brez, abrez@hearst.com, is Marie Claire’s Managing Editor.

Newsweek is returning to print

ImageNEWSWEEK will be back on the newsstand on Friday, March 11, in smaller numbers than in its heyday (70,000 copies vs 3 million.) Editor-in-Chief Jim Lompoco calls it a boutique magazine and at US$7.99 a copy it is definitely a luxury product. Two separate editions will be produced: One for the US and one for Europe.

The editorial will not just be a rehash of the week’s news. “It is good writers doing good reporting with good photographers,” the European editor, Richard Addis, told theguardian.com.

The title is now owned by IBT Media, a network of digital properties founded by two 30-somethings, Johnathan Davis and Etienne Uzac. They acquired it from media mogul Barry Diller, who spent millions but finally gave up on the print edition and combined it with the Daily Beast, the news website. Mr. Davies and Mr. Uzac just tripled the title’s web traffic, so who knows, maybe they can bring the print weekly back to life after all.

Indie music website launches a magazine/book hybrid

Pitchfork logoPITCHFORK REVIEW is a new quarterly cross between a magazine and a book launched by Pitchfork, the indie music review and feature website.

It will contain original features and a back of the book section called “control p” which will be repurposed content from the company’s website.

Mark Richardson, markr@pitchfork.com, is editor-in-chief of the website.

New Bilingual Magazine Helps Migrant Farm Workers in Canada

ATOCTLI, a new Canadian magazine in Spanish and English, will help migrant farm workers deal with the culture shock of working in Canada.
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According to its website, every year in Canada, thousands of dollars in productivity are lost because farmers and migrant workers have difficulties communicating and working together due to language and cultural differences. AtocTli (which in the Nahuatl language means fertile soil) is a free magazine that provides techniques, communication strategies, intercultural information, resources and advice to both farmers and migrant workers. In the Workers Wellbeing section, the magazine also covers finances, diet, recipes and psychological advice.

This magazine is published every other month in Canada and Mexico. For more information, contact Margarita Caropresi at info@atoctli.com.