Fifteen years ago this month, in June 1989, this publication was born. When one starts a publication, as Donna and I did this magazine a decade and a half ago, you are more concerned about what you’ll have in the next issue and the one after that–and couldn’t fathom that you’d someday be looking back at 15 years of monthly deadlines and stories.
This is actually the second publication Donna and I founded. The first one was in 1982 for Yankee Publishing called Collectibles Illustrated. That was a glossy magazine owned by a big publishing company.
But this was our own baby, and with it came all the responsibilities that come with parenting a periodical. Our son, Tommy, was born not long after this magazine. Both are growing up together.
We began as Coös Magazine. Looking back at those first few issues, it is clearly evident that we were trying to find our place here in northern New Hampshire–a locale where stories are plentiful and advertising dollars allowing for the survival of monthlies few. Ten years ago we shelved our original name, issuing the last cover with Coös Magazine on it in May 1994 and adopting our wider-market name of Northern New Hampshire Magazine.
I began writing for magazines in 1970 and first wrote for newspapers in 1978. Since then, I have gone back and forth between the two worlds I love–an appreciation Donna shares. Those early issues, I think, reflect that. Copies of Coös Magazine andNorthern New Hampshire Magazine throughout the 1990s were a hybrid of newspaper and magazine: hard news and softer features served on a monthly basis.
Finally in 2000, Donna and I started our third and fourth periodicals together, theColebrook Chronicle and the Lancaster Herald. With the birth of our weekly newspapers, we now had our dose of news and were able to, as it is called in the publishing business, “reposition” Northern New Hampshire Magazine. We found that what readers liked the most have been our stories about the region’s history and lore. Luckily, Donna and I are both history buffs, so the conversion to an historical/heritage focus was an easy sell.
Also, thanks to our weeklies, we became convinced that the future of publishing is in free circulation. We did away with a cover price, increased our press run and todayNorthern New Hampshire Magazine comes to readers in our coverage area free on newsstands. In the course, new readers have discovered us, joining our longtime readers.
In the end, we only produce publications, it’s the readers and advertisers who make 15 years of continual publishing possible.
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Charles J. Jordan