Like I was saying: The other day, in the midst of pointing out how lame the questions were in an interview with a San Francisco-based editor, I used as an example, the interviewer’s charmingly naive New York-centric questions that belied his belief that the magazine world ends at the Hudson. Lacking in the interviewer’s questions was an apparent lack of awareness of the Bay-area’s critical role in the development of many of the most innovative and successful magazines of the past century.
Well, now there is no excuse for anyone not to know this. In today’s SF Chronicle, Dan Yost provides an introductory survey of recent magazine history in Northern California and even (earning a rexblog gold star for this) includes several quotes from this blog’s favorite industry pundit (which reminds me, I need to post my glowing review of his new books), Samir Husni:
The article is must-reading for anyone who desires to know that, despite its clear dominance in the industry, New York is not the only town in which great magazines are made.
New York, even in an advertising slump, remains the undisputed magazine capital, with high-rises packed with publishing conglomerates, editors, art directors, and ad reps.
However, magazines continue to emerge from the San Francisco area, even though the magazine industry has been hammered in the downturn — ad revenue dropped nearly $1 billion, or 5 percent, from 2000 to 2001, although it started to come back last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.
According to Samir Husni, a University of Mississippi journalism professor known as “Mr. Magazine,” 745 new magazines were published in 2002 — 189 in New York and 104 in California, with no other state close. More than half of those in California are in the Bay Area, he said.
“You name the category that may be off-center, and it will be a Bay Area publication,” Husni said.
The Bay Area magazine scene, post-dot-bomb, is flourishing, fulfilling its role as New York’s cross-country creative counterpart, the place where the seeds of great magazines are planted.
Yost’s article provides an excellent sidebar list of many great magazines from the Bay area (but, as he admits, it’s but a portion of all the titles created and published there).