In the Black
With a launch date set for the summer of 1998, Ellworth Grant and Frances Grant began to systematically conceptualize the design and content goals for the magazine to best suit the target audience.
A mentoring program
During the early brainstorming days, Ellsworth Grant stumbled upon 5280 magazine, the enterprise of entrepreneurial Publisher Dan Brogan. "That magazine is awesome," Ellsworth Grant exclaims when referring to the regional periodical that focuses on current events and notable Denver residents.
After monitoring several issues of 5280, Ellsworth Grant recognized Brogan's publishing genius. "I went to Frances and I said, 'If we can get this guy to work with us, we will be headed in the direction we need to (head),'" he recalls.
On behalf of newly formed In the Black Publishing Ltd., Frances Grant conferred with Dan Brogan and enthusiastically reported back to her partner that Brogan "wanted to talk."
According to the partners, Brogan brought a publishing savvy to the table that both Grants lacked up until that time. With several large advertisers secured, Ellsworth and Frances reportedly had a "wonderful conversation" with Brogan. It went exceptionally well, in fact, for Brogan signed on as their mentor.
"Dan was a tremendous help in putting us on the right course," recalls Ellsworth Grant.
"We told him what we wanted and what we thought we needed, and he came up with a few design suggestions," Frances Grant interjects. "He also gave us lots of suggestions regarding advertisers, editorial and distribution."
But Brogan went above and beyond the call of duty by actually designing and laying out the premier issue of In the Black.
While Brogan continues to counsel In the Black's staff, he has since stepped out of the day-to-day operations, allowing the fledgling publishers to secure their own production and manufacturing partners.