With our next issue, the first of February, we’ll mark our thirtieth anniversary.
Back when we published our first issue, on our first deadline as the 1985 Bears were wrapping up the Super Bowl, “30” in journalism meant the end, as in the end of a story, a typographical cue sent from writer to editor. It was a tradition dating back, it is believed, to the era of the telegraph when a similar code told the operator a message had ended.
Accordingly, the number has some foreboding metaphorical qualities for a publisher, especially in these times. But I am pleased to report that while the typographic usage is now dead, print continues to thrive at Newcity.
And so our upcoming anniversary issue is not a nostalgic look back. Instead, we’ll use our perspective on the changes in Chicago on our watch, and think about what it might be thirty years hence. We’re calling it “Chicago 2046: Visions for a New City,” and are aiming to have thirty distinct voices, many of them cultural or community leaders, contribute to that prognostication.
While thirty years is a meaningful milestone in the life of any business, it’s perhaps especially noteworthy that we, as Newcity’s founders, remain at the helm and fully committed to its future, and that most of our children are increasingly involved in that future.
We increased our revenue in 2015 for the third consecutive year, a not-so-typical state of affairs for most print-centric media companies these days. While we hope that continuity of leadership is one of the reasons for our modest recent success, we believe it’s even more a reflection of audience and, correspondingly advertisers’, reception to our focus on our mission of being “the Publication of Record for Chicago Culture.”
A redesign of our web sites is well underway, so keep an eye out for that. And we plan a print redesign as well. Newcity Hearts Arts continues to regularly donate marketing support to nonprofit cultural fundraisers. Our Custom Publishing division continues to collaborate with DCASE, the University of Chicago, Music Box Theatre and EXPO Chicago on the creation of magnificent publications for their magnificent events.
For a change, we do not have any new ventures to announce this year. But our feature film, undertaken on the occasion of this anniversary, is underway. It’s called “Signature Move” and principal photography is planned for June. (As well as a crowdfunding campaign later this month.) Read about it at ChicagoFilmProject.com.
NewcityBrazil.com is up and running as well, and publishing high-quality art criticism in and about São Paulo. We’ll be focusing on growth for that project this year, in audience, content and revenue.
In fact that, perhaps, is best understood as this year’s mission: to build on the foundation of all that we do, seeking at all times superior editorial and design, and in the process, to grow our revenue base and audience size. After all, we need to lay the groundwork for our sixtieth anniversary.
Thank you for three decades together, and for those still to come.
Brian & Jan Hieggelke