Charting a Path for Growth
Sactown upgrades digs in anticipation of expanding staff, upping frequency.
It’s only been three years since co-owners/co-editors-in-chief Rob Turner and Elyssa Lee launched Sactown magazine—covering California’s capital city Sacramento—and already the pair is eying plans for expansion.
The magazine has relocated its offices from a 2,000-square-foot facility to another that’s 4,100 square feet. Doubling its space will allow the team to eventually hire more staffers and to bump the magazine’s frequency up from bi-monthly to monthly sometime next year.
“We didn’t have the recession in our business plan when we began working on it four or five years ago, but so far things are working out pretty well,” Turner said in a phone interview with FOLIO:. “We originally anticipated going monthly after only 18 months but the economy got in the way and decided until now to hold steady.”
While the city title is still in its growing stages, Turner said Sactown had its best year so far in 2009, with newsstand sales up 33 percent. The magazine currently carries a 40,000 rate base, up from 35,000 earlier this year. Advertising dollars are steady over last year, Turner said.
Not too bad for a magazine that serves a smaller city (estimated 2007 population was 502,743) and faces competition from longer-established Sacramento magazine. “We’re somewhat unusual in that Sacramento has two full-blown city magazines, given its size,” Turner said. “But, so far, both magazines have survived and are doing well.
“I’m very optimistic about city magazines in general,” he continued. “Sure, some titles are thinner than they used to be, but I haven’t seen a lot of regionals go under. City magazines serve a different purpose than national titles. I can’t imagine them going away.”