For City And Regional Magazines—And The Nova Campus—Change Did Not Happen Overnight
Last year Gulfstream Media Group celebrated the 50th anniversary of our flagship magazine, Gold Coast. In our anniversary issue we noted our debt to our former employer, Philadelphia magazine, which pretty much invented the city/regional magazine. That city’s name had been associated with a chamber of commerce type publication for a hundred years, but it was not regularly published, and would not be mixed up with the hard-hitting magazine that developed after the Lipson family bought it from the chamber in the late 1940s.
That was the real beginning of the type of magazines found in virtually every city of any size in the country today. And it did not happen overnight. It was not until the early 1960s that a staff of young writers put Philadelphia on the national map and inspired so many imitators around the country. Those clones appeared gradually. To name a few of the best, Washingtonian came along in 1965, New York in 1968, and Texas Monthly in 1971.
Gold Coast is as old as any of them except Philadelphia. But our 1965 birth was not quite in the same family. This book started as a much more social presentation, celebrating the good life of South Florida communities. When our group arrived in 1970 we introduced some of the ideas that had worked at Philadelphia, such as covering competing media, profiling sports figures and providing service information, including restaurant coverage and profiles on top professionals in such fields as law and medicine.
We discovered, however, that our readership was much more transient and less deeply rooted than people in the old northern cities. Our affluent audience, much of it seasonal, was here for the good weather and Florida lifestyle and more interested in seeing pictures of people dancing for disease than in reading about political corruption. And although we moved gradually toward more importance, the fact is that the pioneering city magazines over the decades became more like us than we like them.
Most regional magazines run stories such as Managing Editor Alyssa Morlacci’s piece on Nova Southeastern University’s new Center for Collaborative Research, or the Alyssa and Lyssa Goldberg (from our digital staff) profiles of shark experts. And, with few exceptions, the regionals adopted an idea that Gold Coast pioneered in the late 1980s. Our “Who’s Who In Charity” guide has become standard in magazines around the country.
Back to NSU, note the photo in the story of the beautiful building on its increasingly busy campus. For growth perspective, we go back to a 1973 story when we showed the dean of the new Nova law school on the site of its proposed future building. Some campus, huh?