Midtown Monthly publishes final print issue
Midtown Monthly, a magazine covering arts, entertainment and life in Midtown Sacramento, will cease publishing a print edition after this month, Editor Tim Foster announced Monday.
Originally an offshoot of Capitol Weekly called Midtown/Downtown, Midtown Monthly launched as its own glossy magazine in March 2007, Foster said. The two magazines shared a printer, designers, advertising sales staff and other expenses.
When Capitol Weekly moved to publishing online only in January, all of the shared costs suddenly fell to Midtown Monthly, and it was too much, Foster said.
“We were back to shouldering 100 percent of those costs,” said Foster, 46, whose full-time job is working on political messaging and advertising for Capitol Weekly, among other duties. “We could keep doing it, but the reality is it was going to be too stressful.”
Foster added that the website, which can be viewed by clicking here, will stay active, with the latest issue being uploaded. The archives will stay online, and Foster added that now he will likely continue writing for the site, and some of those who wrote for the print publication may continue to post online.
The free magazine was written by freelancers, and Foster said that despite the sense of loss, he is happy to have worked with a dedicated cadre of writers.
“I feel lucky I was able to work with the people I worked with in putting this together – they did an amazing job,” he said. “We did it on a shoestring budget, and we did it with people who were not professional writers – they were just people who loved what they did.”
The magazine had its best year in the past 12 months, with revenues up 15 percent over the previous year, but taking on full costs of printing and designing negated the progress made over the past years, Foster said.
Associate Editor Becky Grunewald said she will miss the magazine for the unique perspective it provided to the community.
“It was written by Sacramento nerds – we nerd out on everything Sacramento: the best bike routes, 60s garage bands and all those topics,” she said. “When we all came together for meetings, we could just talk for hours – it’s really people coming together out of a love of Sacramento.”
She added that the magazine, combined with other free publications in the city, including SubMerge Magazine, the Sacramento News & Review and The Sacramento Press, provide an important point of view on local happenings.
“Some of these free publications are the only thing standing between us and some monolithic point of view in The (Sacramento) Bee,” she said. “We need these, and we just lost one of them.”
Foster said he spent the past six weeks searching for an investor or partner to join in the business, but to no avail.
“I would love if someone came to me and said, ‘I think this is a really valuable voice,’ and wanted to carry on publishing it – I’d love to talk to them,” Foster said. “The reality is, I did that five years ago, and I’m not in a position to do that again. I just don’t have the bucks that I did five years ago.”
One of the places Midtown Monthly was carried was The Beat, an independent music store at 17th and J streets. The Midtown Monthly rack was empty Monday afternoon.
Waylon Horner, a 28-year-old Oak Park resident and employee of The Beat, said he would leaf through it and read an article here and there.
“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I’d see pictures of people I knew in there. I never got into it really that much, but other people did.”
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.