Texas Monthly, the National Magazine of Texas since 1973, went live yesterday with their refreshed website in conjunction with the release of their May 2017 issue “The Edge.”
Texas Monthly is cool. It’s always been cool with its riveting stories and love for BBQ. Since the change in ownership from Emmis Publishing to Genesis Park in November 2016, there have been a whirlwind of changes going on in the Austin-based magazine. New leadership, new mergers between the creative and business sides of the company, new events, and expansion beyond the politics and BBQ stories.
(Read “New Texas Monthly Owner will be ‘Hands On’ in Managing the Magazine“)
I am a traditionalist and actually read physical magazines, so it would be every once in a while that I would actually sit down on at a computer and actually type www.texasmonthly.com (yes, I know there is a bookmarks button. I prefer hearing the sounds of typing). The website was always easy to navigate but this new look is much more streamlined. The way the stories are organized reminds me a bit of a Pinterest board in the sense they are not stacked perfectly vertically nor perfectly horizontally.
There is a nice balance between politics and lifestyle. TM was recently under fire by CJR for “[pulling] back from the kind of longform and political coverage that gave the title a national profile to focus instead on lifestyle coverage, website enhancements, and a live-events business.” Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…that hurts my heart by the amount of BS conjecture in that statement. Sure, TM refreshed their website. Yes they are planning more diverse events. But they are not, absolutely not, dropping longform and ditching political coverage. CJR, have you not read the Power issue (February 2017)? Have you not seen the April issue’s stories by Michael Hall and Skip Hollandworth? Have you not read the May issue? Obviously not. Le sigh. I digress.
(Read Editor-in-Chief Tim Taliaferro’s letter to readers in response to the CJR article here.)
I love love loveeeeeeeeee the archives section. Each issue is represented by its cover. It’s a never-ending gallery of every cover of TM since day 1. I’m a history nerd and an art nerd so the fact they have a 44 year archive of covers, features, and columns is a delightful wormhole for me. I lost my January 1985 copy a few weeks back so I’m happy to know I can easily access the Peter Applebome story, “Between Two Worlds”, while having the oh-so-entertaining “Cuban Revolution” story by one TM legend Skip Hollandsworth on a separate tab.
(Read Peter Applebome’s “Between Two Worlds” on Jake Harmon, son of a powerful Dallas oil family, and his struggle to find the balance between new world 1980s and old money.)
(Read Skip Hollandsworth’s adventure in trying to get Mark Cuban to admit if he will run in 2020 in “Cuban Revolution“. If you are a business school student then you will find Cuban’s rise to power quite inspiring.)
If there is one grievance I should make, as everything is not perfect but in the pursuit of perfection, it would be the TMBBQ website. Again, I am a history nerd. I like to know past events and create hypothesis and theories for future events. Please update your Events calendar TMBBQ. I know you had the TMBBQ Fest 2016 the last weekend of October 2016. It’s not listed. I would recommend updating that calendar. You can even provide a link to a gallery of photos and reviews of the events from the TM staff, sponsors, media, and attendees. Free idea Texas Monthly.
All in all, I am excited to see what TM has planned for the future. I wish them much success and recommend that you get their May 2017 issue, “The Edge”, at your local Texas grocery stores. Not in Texas? Then head on over to their website! That’s www.texasmonthly.com.