Southern Newspapers: An 'unabashedly print-centric company'
Southern Newspapers, Inc., like other newspaper companies, decided to pivot resources into new areas of opportunity when traditional newspaper revenues came under stress. Unlike others, the pivot involved investing in new, valuable print products.
The result now drives nearly $5 million in annual magazine revenue through the company's 15 print properties.
"We are an unabashedly print-centric company," said Leonard Woolsey, publisher of The Galveston County Daily News. "Magazines are more than printed photos and words on glossy paper.
"Much like a newspaper represents a form and function, so do magazines. When developing magazines, we dedicated great amounts of time to understanding the art and craft of what makes a magazine connect with an audience – thus allowing us to successfully connect advertisers to the audiences."
Beginning with Coast Monthly, a full-scale lifestyle magazine anchored along the Upper Gulf Coast near Houston, Texas, the journey included extensive research of the intricacies of magazine content, design and discovering the unique soul of the each product.
The magazine's development, led by editor Laura Elder, is highly distinctive and aspirational, quickly grew from modest annual revenues of a couple hundred thousand dollars a year to now projecting to cross $1 million in 2017. Additionally, Coast Monthly won best magazine by the Texas Press Association in 2015 and 2016. It also was recognized with an honorable mention in Editor & Publisher's 2017 recognition of "10 Newspapers That Do It Right."
But the story does not stop there.
Southern Newspapers took the lessons from Galveston on the road – successfully populating the practices in other newspapers. In Lufkin, Texas, editor Leigh Ann Farmer leads "Charm," a highly creative lifestyle magazine that was welcomed with tremendous success.
And in Paris, Texas, editor and publisher JD Davidson shaped "Paris Life" into a truly energetic approach to the community lifestyle magazines.
Today all Southern Newspaper properties host successful and distinctive magazines. At Southern Newspapers, Inc., print is alive and well.