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Publisher's Letter

Publisher's Letter: A new title for a new year

It is common knowledge that print media have been hurting. With a few exceptions, newspapers have been losing circulation and money. We recently reported that when this magazine began life in 1965 there were six daily newspapers between Miami and Broward counties. Today they are only two, and both are struggling. The situation is not as bad in the magazine field, although a number of once thriving publications have ceased their print editions in favor of digital presentations, and many regional magazines have seen flat or declining revenues.

Therefore, as we greet the new year, we are happy to announce that ad bookings for the last year were up more than 15 percent. This represents the largest annual increase since the 2007 recession. You won’t see some of that business for months, and some farsighted advertisers actually buy two-year contracts. Of course, we have an advantage of offering 80,000-plus circulation in our six magazines from Broward  to St. Lucie counties—a distance of 120 miles. With the exception of Texas Monthly, a uniquely successful statewide magazine, we know of no regional magazine with such a broad wingspan. Furthermore, instead of cutting back, we are expanding with a new product. Florida Home & Garden is our new title that appears in this magazine for the first time, and will be featured in two more issues down the road. It will also be separately distributed as its own magazine.

Design magazines around the country have fared better than the industry as a whole. The reason: interior presentations and architectural photographs work best in the glossy magazine format. The audience for these publications also tends to be an affluent group—folks who spend good money to maintain their residences and businesses.

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This new magazine also has a perfect name. Although we are launching it in our South Florida magazines, it is portable and could grow into statewide distribution. The publisher is our 18-year sales star, Sherry Goodman-Ash. Design clients have been her specialty, so she is a natural for the role.

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So much for what’s new; let’s talk old. Very few businesses can claim to have been in our first issue 54 years ago. Maus & Hoffman is one of them. In fact, that high fashion clothing store was on Las Olas Boulevard 25 years before this book was born. The firm is pushing 80 years in South Florida. William Maus and Frank Hoffman came down from the summer resort town of Petoskey, Michigan, in 1940. Among Las Olas institutions, only the Riverside Hotel (1936) is older.

William Maus became a legendary pioneer on Las Olas. At one time a dozen stores from northern Michigan followed him to Las Olas or nearby cities. Maus was the man who backed the first good restaurant on the boulevard, the recently closed Le Café de Paris. Today, Fort Lauderdale’s center of nightlife has numerous fine restaurants, serving the massive influx of new downtown high-rise offices and apartments. Maus & Hoffman years ago expanded around the state. Today it has locations on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and stores in Naples and Vero Beach. There are second- and third-generation Maus family members running those stores. Although it began as a high-end men’s store, it has enlarged its offerings to include women’s clothing.

And, as of last month, Maus & Hoffman has a new and fascinating location—in effect a marriage with the Riverside Hotel. Its old location just a block away was sold, and the new store has the advantage of a entrance on Las Olas next to the busy Riverside, plus a second entrance in the back from the elegant hotel lobby. We wish Maus & Hoffman another 80 years of success.