Publishers see opportunity in Scottsdale - East Valley Tribune: News

Publishers see opportunity in Scottsdale

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Posted: Friday, December 16, 2005 5:16 am | Updated: 8:01 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

As Scottsdale expands with high-end condos and lofts, nationally recognized art galleries and ritzy shopping venues, more and more publishers are creating magazines about and for the residents of the city. At least six Scottsdale-based magazines have started publishing in the past year, and at least three more are working on putting out their first issues.

The magazines range in topics from cuisine and fashion to classic cars and contemporary art. Most of them target Scottsdale residents, while others circulate nationally and even internationally.

"Just when you think there’s 15 more magazines than the market needs, another four come in," said Michael Korzon, publisher of Oasis, a 3-year-old home and garden magazine.

"The magazine market in Scottsdale is just crazy," he said. "It’s overbuilt, just like Scottsdale is."

There’s Item, 101 North, 944 — the list goes on as each new publication tries to join the ranks of more-established Scottsdalebased magazines such as Phoenix Home & Garden, Arizona Foothills and Scottsdale Magazine.

Such an influx of magazines is rare in other cities, said Vicki Collins Edwards, publisher of Scottsdale Magazine since 1987. The 30-year-old publication is the oldest lifestyle magazine in the city.

"There are more lifestyle magazines in this market on a per capita basis than any other major city in the United States," Edwards said.

Edwards has seen magazines rise and fall in Scottsdale. The key to survival in the market is filling a vacant niche, she said.

That’s just what new publishers in the city, including Scottsdale resident Raymond Rita, intend to do.

Rita’s company, The Scottsdale Media Group, just started publishing Scottsdale Food, which hit racks in October and featured an interview with Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz.

The next issue is due out in January. Following that will be the debut of Scottsdale Spa & Salon in March and Scottsdale Art in the summer — Rita’s company will publish both.

The three magazines will differ from some of Scottsdale’s other publications in their narrow focus, advertising goals and strong Web sites, Rita said.

The problem with the magazines of Scottsdale is they all appear to be the same publication, Rita said.

"It’s becoming more and more difficult to distinguish one product from the next," he said.

There are many reasons Scottsdale is such a popular place to publish magazines, local publishers said. Rita said he chose Scottsdale because of its nottoo-small, not-too-big population and size.

A major reason the city is such a magazine magnet is because of its affluent population, said Dave Roderique, Scottsdale’s economic vitality director.

"A lot of it has to do with affluence," he said. "Obviously, advertisers are always looking for the high-end demographic."

The city’s well-to-do tourists also play a role in the publishing world of Scottsdale, said Michelle Schneider, publisher of The Essential, a 1-year-old Scottsdale-based magazine that targets tourists by putting 63 percent of its copies in hotels.

The Essential is published by Morris Visitors Publications — the same group that publishes Oasis — and hardcover books about the state that are in all of Arizona’s hotels, Korzon said.

Not only are state-specific publications attracted to Scottsdale, but national and international magazines choose the city as a headquarters, as well.

Only a month ago, Sydney, Australia-based International Artist Publishing made the final transition to relocate its headquarters to Scottsdale.

The company, which publishes the internationally circulated International Artist and the national American Art Collector, chose Scottsdale because of the city’s pleasant climate and thriving arts scene, said Terry Dodd, International Artist’s editor in chief.

"Scottsdale is so orderly . . . so beautiful," the Great Britain native told the Tribune last month. "We know artists in the area, we know Scottsdale has a flourishing arts scene and we thought it would be a natural fit."

Whether the city’s plethora of new magazines will make it is up to the city’s residents, Korzon said.

"I’m a firm believer in the marketplace," Korzon said. "The marketplace proves the success or the failure of a magazine. It’s either going to accept it or it’s not."

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