Corner Office: Painting a New Picture
My mandate to them was get back to the display image type advertising. Nothing against direct response—we welcome anything that pays the bills—but it should be more of a visually engaging experience. Some of those ads are not based on beauty.
As far as digital, we're on Google Play and are doing well with that. By January we will have a full mobile app for all tablets. We are a little late to that game [the first digital edition was released in June] but no one's made any money on it yet anyway. We're learning from other people's mistakes.
Where do you see the magazine going next?
We have to evolve from a print-centric company to a media company that looks to wherever the opportunities are. I'm still a little bit old school. I believe that some great magazines will survive the digital age as physical magazines. There's some satisfaction in holding a magazine that you lose in the digital format. I strongly support the classic magazine and hopefully readers will too, if you make it good enough.
We're a general interest magazine and we overlap many areas: fiction, travel, a little bit service…Our biggest core is covering trends with a historical perspective. It's like AARP: The Magazine meets Smithsonian meets Garden & Gun.
Another thing coming up is that this year we're about to complete the first annual Great American Fiction Contest. We're hoping to discover new writers. We got 250 applications for the first year that closed July 30th and just finishing judging – they're quite good. PE