Houstonia is the latest title from SagaCity Media, which publishes 37 other regional magazines. It's being started by two Houston natives — Nicole Vogel and her brother, Scott. It's hard times for lots of publications, but Nicole Vogel sees a place for Houstonia.
"Well, it's certainly a question that we get asked a lot. Of course, content — what's happened to newspapers has really allowed us to create a niche for ourselves in lifestyle, because as they've continued to kind of contract, they've given up lifestyle to us, in many ways."
Scott Vogel is enthusiastic about the mission of Houstonia — to give readers a smart, informative and entertaining take on their city, no matter what part of town you prefer or your lifestyle.
"To be able to, you know, sort of go to work every day and have as your mission: What is the city about? And to think about it, and to push it, obviously, in directions that you think it needs to go. That's what keeps us going all the time, or at least me, anyway."
Nicole: "You know, Houston's the largest city in America without a paid circulation magazine. And the average age of the Top 50 city magazines is 46 years old, so they, you know, they haven't gone out of business. There wasn't one that was lost to the recession."
Houstonia will try to define Houston's identity.
Nicole: "Dallas is trying to be Chicago and Austin is trying to be Berkeley, but Houston is just absolutely fine with being good old Houston!"
Scott: "Houstonians complain endlessly about this place, and yet wouldn't live anywhere else."
Nicole: "Without too much arrogance on our part, we feel like this will help crystallize an opinion outside of Houston about what Houston is about and the greatness of this city and you know, the incredible arts and the incredible, you know, shopping."
Scott: "Yeah, one of the models we developed early on was the idea that a magazine sits on your coffee table for a month, so it has to be like this friend that comes every month — the ideal city resident who knows everything about this place. The magazine is very much personified in our minds as this sort of ideal urban resident."
Houstonia will be available at over 700 checkout counters and newsstands throughout the metro area starting March 27th.