Editor’s note: A glossy lifestyle magazine launched by a daily newspaper? It was a novel concept at the time. Fifteen years later, City & Shore Magazine reaches a milestone.
By Greg Carannante
A long time ago – long before you could order a pizza with an emoji or have it delivered with a drone – the Sun Sentinel tried something very different for a newspaper: It created its own glossy lifestyle magazine. Fifteen years ago this month, City & Shore published its first issue – its raison d›être printed on the cover: “Savoring the Good Life in South Florida.”
A decade and a half may not seem like such a long time, but in this perilous era for print media, flourishing for that long is an accomplishment worth noting. Today we do that in a way that’s particularly appropriate: After well over 100 issues and thousands of stories about the good life in South Florida and the people who live it, City & Shore celebrates its 15th anniversary – and some of our favorite stories.
Through it all, cover story or inside department, essay or fashion spread, the magazine has kept the focus tight on South Florida, using the pages to create a kaleidoscopic sense of place – sometimes a bit unconventionally, as with a cover piece on renowned Everglades photographer Clyde Butcher.
“I’ve always thought a magazine should surprise and delight readers,” says Mark Gauert, the magazine’s founding editor who added Publisher to his title in 2011. “Going from a black-and-white cover of Clyde Butcher waist-deep in the Everglades one issue to a fall fashion issue the next – that variety is important to me in a magazine, especially one in South Florida. You never know what to expect here, either.”
It’s a focus that has not gone unnoticed. City & Shore, in just its first year, won Florida Magazine Association awards for Best Cover and Best New Magazine. In the past four years alone, it has won 21 state, regional and national journalism awards, including first-place awards for niche publication, design and commentary/criticism.
A distinct advantage that’s as important as any to C&S’s success is the Sun Sentinel’s circulation division, delivering the magazine to subscribers in affluent neighborhoods with the Sunday paper. This gives advertisers an audited circulation of 46,000.
“One of the biggest differences between City & Shore and many other magazines is we are primarily a home-delivered magazine,” says Howard Greenberg, Sun Sentinel publisher since 2007. “Most of the others are newsstand with some targeted mail. We’re able to be a lot more efficient about getting our magazine to readers where they live. And this being a lifestyle magazine, it is a magazine you want to read where you live.”
The magazine has spun off a stable of satellite publications over the years – such as a travel issue called Destinations, glossy in-room annuals for the Harbor Beach Marriott in Fort Lauderdale the Diplomat in Hollywood, and, most recently, PRIME for sophisticated readers 55 and over. It has also become a model for other newspaper-published glossies, such as Signature, launched in August by the Orlando Sentinel.
“It just makes sense for a daily newspaper, particularly one that is multi-platform like most are now, to have a lifestyle magazine. It’s a great match for that part of our audience,” Greenberg says. “City & Shore has been a great treasure for the Sun Sentinel across platforms. It has a great print following. It has a great multi-platform following. And that’s why we’ve been successful.”
The magazine’s website, cityandshore.com, has developed into a dynamic animated menu of stories and highlights and links to digital and iPad editions, newspaper content and its social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter (the latter pegging 3 million impressions, recently.)
“Starting a magazine is risky, and we were all nervous in the beginning,” Gauert says. “We joked, in the early years, wondering if our next issue would be our last.”
Fifteen years on, C&S won more journalism awards last year than in any previous year. And, in September, its staff produced a 164-page magazine.
It was the biggest issue yet.