It probably seems as though it was only five years ago that Baltimore magazine was celebrating its 100th anniversary—because that’s the case. This month, in fact, already marks the 105th anniversary of the magazine’s first issue.
One hundred and five may seem like an odd milestone to mention, particularly when we’re in the process of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War years, and we’ve just marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. But in magazine years, particularly when the last five of them have been so turbulent for the publishing industry, 105 is worth some attention.
To cite some pretty well-known examples, Vanity Fair was originally founded in 1913 but ceased publication for nearly half a century until it was reestablished in its present format in 1983. Next year, Time magazine will be 90. People magazine has a little ways to go—seven decades, actually—before it can claim to be 105.
Longevity alone, of course, is not the only or, perhaps, even the best way to measure a magazine, but it does say something about its value to a community. It surely speaks to the continuing acceptance and support by you, our readers and advertisers.
We’ve certainly tried to earn the time and treasure you’ve given us during these past five years. During that time, we’ve published 13,772 pages of often arresting, visually compelling, and worthwhile information, and printed more than 3,925,000 copies of the magazine and its sister products, such as Baltimore Bride. All of us associated with the magazine are proud that our work in each of the past 60 issues has been seen by more than 300,000 readers—a total of 18,000,000 readers just since we turned 100.
And to give this October issue the special recognition it warrants, our editors have picked the five most memorable events that have occurred in and around Baltimore during the past five years. Take a look at the feature starting on page 130 and let us know how you think we did.
Looking ahead, we’re confident in the future of print media. We wouldn’t have just completed a redesign of this magazine in August if we weren’t. But during the past five years, we’ve also recognized that our brand—Baltimore—is one that needs to embrace its audience wherever that audience may meaningfully want to find us.
So, our website has improved significantly since 2007 and will be dramatically better still in 2013. The secret is out—our site is an up-to-date reference for the best information on what to do and where to eat in the Baltimore region. In the past two years, we’ve doubled the number of visitors to our site. And on Facebook and Twitter we’re interacting with thousands of you about the stories, events, and issues that make this such a great place place to live and work.
Last year, we launched an iPad app and a mobile site will follow in the next few months.
Obviously, I’m proud of the people we’ve been able to attract to the magazine in the 18 years that I’ve now owned it. We’ve been able to retain a remarkable number of those we’ve hired, and the quality and character of those who have been promoted and brought into the organization through the years provide the best assurance there is for our future.
I look forward to marking our 106th anniversary with you.