Spring, Madness and magazines

Wayne MitchellMarch is many things – spring break, March Madness, the first flowers of spring and glossy magazines.

That’s right – glossy magazines. March is glossy magazine time at the Gazette. This year we will produce two of them. It’s something that keeps our small staff busy, along with publishing two newspapers a week.

Today in your paper is the Spring Sports Preview, a glossy keepsake magazine with photographs of all our New Albany and Union County students who participate in a spring sport. Donica Phifer and Dennis Clayton of our sports staff have been busy writing stories and taking pictures for the Spring Sports Preview.

Whether it’s baseball or track, tennis or golf, or several other sports, they’re all there in a handy magazine format. And this year the magazine has expanded to 32 pages, from 24, as we have expanded our coverage and tried to accommodate more advertisers who wanted to show their support.

The glossy sports previews started three years ago. Before that we had done a large newsprint section for football and smaller sections for basketball and baseball. The rest of the sports didn’t get featured at all.

We didn’t think that was fair. We decided to give the same treatment to all the prep sports by producing three glossy magazines, one each in fall, winter and spring. It’s been quite an undertaking, both in terms of time and expense, but the previews have drawn enthusiastic support from both readers and advertisers.

Nine issues later, it was clearly the right thing to do.

Now, we’re going to try something else new. On Friday, March 28, you’ll get a new magazine inside your Gazette. It’s Union County Home & Garden, which we plan to publish each March.

Reporter Angie Barmer and Editor J. Lynn West of our newsroom staff, along with local gardening writer Denise Pugh, have been busy writing stories and taking photographs on a variety of topics.

Among them are summer flowers that will survive the heat, backyard habitats for birds and butterflies, sturdy Amish furniture, and robot gadgetry to control your home environment. And Managing Editor David Johnson has designed a magazine that shows off their work and their vivid color photography.

Union County Home & Garden is an addition to your paper. It doesn’t replace something else we already are doing.

You’ll still get New Albany Magazine, with stories about local people and local things, each April and November. And Explore Magazine, the guide to things to see and do and places to eat in our area, will arrive in your paper in June.

Glossy magazines are what I call added value (that’s a fancy name for “free”) with your Gazette subscription. We don’t charge extra for them; they arrive in the mail with your paper. We think it’s all part of continuing to expand your community newspaper.

The magazines are made possible by lots of businesses and institutions who support them with their advertising dollars. We hope you will thank them for their investment.

As always, all of us at the Gazette want to know your thoughts about the paper and the magazines as we strive to serve you better.

About Wayne Mitchell

Publisher of the New Albany Gazette