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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Culturemap vs Houstonia Magazine

Houstonia Magazine issues statement concerning Culturemap articles: Round One!

I talk about Houston radio wars here, but now we seem to be in the midst of Houston online news site vs magazine wars. Two of the biggest, and most well-funded, are going toe to toe. In one corner, it's the first to the table Culturemap vs newcomer magazine/site Houstonia.

Time for us to sit back and butter up the popcorn.

Culturemap has published articles that seem to take delight in pointing out problems over at Houstonia. So Houstonia is trying to set the record straight from its perspective with the following press release:

Of late, CultureMap has published a series of misleading articles about Houstonia. It’s time we set the record straight.

1. Robb Walsh is not leaving Houstonia.

Robb Walsh, the author of 14 cookbooks, has now been presented with the opportunity to write several more. Even so, he will continue to be Houstonia’s monthly restaurant critic/reviewer and contribute to our food-related cover stories and events to the exact same degree as in the past.

CultureMap’s headline read, "Houstonia suffers another big loss: Super hyped, food writer hire leaves full-time position”.

It’s simply not true.

2. There has been no staffing turmoil and no series of big losses.

In its first year Houstonia has lost exactly one editorial employee and gained exactly one editorial employee. Here is the list of editorial employees since the launch of Houstonia:

Scott Vogel
John Wilburn (departed May 2013)
Catherine Matusow
Kerry Howley
John Nova Lomax
Michael Hardy
Peter Holley
Robb Walsh
Dan Derozier
Chris Skiles
Alese Pickering
Chesney Fuller
Katharine Shilcutt (joined May 2013)

CultureMap headlines:

1/31/14: “It’s another shakeup for Houstonia magazine…” (Or as the caption of an accompanying photo puts it: “Houstonia’s seen plenty of change and turmoil in its first year.”
6/21/13: “…Shakeups continue at new magazine”
3/9/14: “Another big loss…”

Again, it’s simply not true.

3. Diane Caplan, Houstonia’s new Publisher, is a seasoned Sales & Marketing executive.

Over the past seven years, as Marketing & eCommerce Director at Momentum Motors, Diane has bought media from nearly every major media outlet in Houston, making her a perfect fit for Houstonia’s customer-focused advertising efforts.

In the January 31 article referenced above, CultureMap derided Caplan as someone with “no experience” and as a “car salesman.”

Again, it’s simply not true.

We built this company from the ground up over the last 10 years, from publishing one magazine to publishing over 40 magazines. We have done it with honesty and integrity and we hoped others would do the same. In the absence of that, we felt it was time you heard from us.

Houstonia has had astonishing success in its first year due to the unparalleled contribution of its staff as well as the incredible support of the advertising community. We look forward to serving this remarkable community for many years to come.

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