More Optimism in the City & Regional Magazine Niche

11-covernonupc_nov15_0They’ve been one of the strongest sectors in recent years, and the local publishing resurgence continues.

John Palumbo isn’t the only one who thinks things are looking sunny for city and regional publishers. The owner of Rhode Island Monthly Communications reported that the regional and city media industry is experiencing a resurgence in local custom publishing.

“After years of either holding steady following the Great Recession or fighting for a return to normalcy, the city and regional publishers interviewed for this article shared a unanimously positive feeling about the last year and forecast a bright future for this segment of the magazine industry,” writes Ron Matejko in Publishing Executive.

‘I’d put us down as very optimistic,” Dan Brogan, president & editor-in-chief of Denver’s 5280 magazine, told Matejko. “I think we’re very happy with where our business is right now. We’re coming off a record year in terms of revenue and profit. We’ve finally gotten back to where we were before the recession but we’re also a different business than we were back then.”

From expanding existing brands to launching entirely new titles, there is plenty of movement in the local CRM market, Matejko notes.

“We’re doing a couple of brand extensions and putting a toe back into the home design category — one in Palm Beach and one in Naples,” says Terry Duffy, group publisher of Palm Beach Media Group. “I think it’s encouraging to see publishers creating new products and we are certainly following that.”

It comes back to giving the audience what it wants, in a way that makes good business sense for companies that have the capabilities and the staff to create good custom work.

“I think because the economy seems to be recovering, people are discovering the ability of a city and regional magazine to supplement their business by producing catalogs or custom magazines,” said Palumbo to Matejko, pointing out the industry’s ability to meet market needs.

To be certain there are still challenges to overcome, including the ailing newsstand model. But the overall outlook for regional titles is quite bright.

“If the forecasts are accurate, city/regional publishers have a lot of reasons to be optimistic for the first time in a long time,” Matejko insists.