Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Houstonia Magazine hits Houston Thursday

Houstonia Magazine's first issue debuts this week

Houstonia Magazine has been a big topic on my blog. I posted the initial announcement of the magazine's existence in January and people haven't stopped reading that post since.

Tomorrow, the wait is over as Houstonia hits store shelves. I tweeted a photo of an upcoming teaser I noticed at a Randall's magazine rack last week.

I have the first issue already and it is very rich looking in appearance in content (and big time advertisers too). It is very much like a Texas Monthly for Houston with a mix of serious/feature reporting, humor and other interesting takes on the city. The staff is a who's who of Houston journalism and beyond.

Houston has had lots of magazines come and go. In fact last summer at my friend's wedding in the LA area, I met an executive producer of Desperate Housewives and writer for Frasier. Before I knew who he was, we were making small talk and when I said I was from Houston, his eyes lit up. Turns out Bob Daily lived in Houston in the 1980s and wrote for magazines here.

Daily told me there was actually a pretty decent amount of work for magazine folks here at that time. He ended up getting involved in Houston's Comedy Workshop, one thing led to another, and he ended up writing for shows in Los Angeles. This obviously has nothing to do with Houstonia, but it's a cool story and something you often don't hear associated with the Bayou City.

So coming full circle, Houstonia kind of tapped into that history when it found its office space. Scott Vogel, a former Washington Post editor and SagaCity’s cofounder and editorial director (the owner of Houstonia), told me big high rise Houston office space rent is pretty costly so they settled on a big old house in the Heights with a friendly atmosphere.

"We liked too how the house allowed us to connect with Houston’s history, which is no doubt going to be one of the ongoing concerns of Houstonia," Vogel told "To succeed, these magazines really have to be welcoming publications, and if there’s one thing that a big old mansion in the Heights says, it’s welcoming."

The magazine held a big party Saturday night with a big crowd mixed of members of Houston's society crowd, media, PR and a bunch more. Clearly SagaCity is willing to spend money to promote itself here.

I'll be watching the company with interest to see how it is launching a venture like this in these odd media times. I'm also curious how it mixes the physical magazine world with the online one. Will all of its content be on both platforms?

We'll find out Thursday.

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