Now Then…Where Were We?
The purpose of an editor’s note can vary from publication to publication, but I’ve always thought of it as a way to get a little personal and share some insight about what’s going on in my head as we create the coming issue. I’m afraid I could take up half the pages of this magazine with what’s been going on since our last issue. So much was happening as we created our May/ June issue, let’s recap: our publisher retired; the reality of COVID-19 was just setting in as businesses started to close; our office shut down and we spent March 15–June 1 working from home; and we published the issue entirely from home, without seeing one another except for video calls.
By the time this issue lands, we will have been back in the office almost two months, but the changes have not stopped coming. Tourism took the hardest hit of any other state agency; if you saw any photos of the empty Las Vegas Strip you know what I’m talking about. The closure of our casinos, hotels, and restaurants, plus the loss of almost every special event (concerts, festivals, etc.) has left a gaping hole where our visitors used to be. The impact can be seen and felt everywhere, and just now we’re slowly moving toward the full reopening of our state’s economy.
The hit our tourism friends and partners took, of course, has a trickle-down effect and our revenue was greatly impacted as well. Our staff—eight at the start of March—is now down to six. To preserve our future, we are all taking six days a month of unpaid leave, yet shouldering the duties of a diminished staff and still doing the jobs we were hired to do.
I write this knowing almost everyone could tell a similar tale. I am not asking for pity; we’re all in the same boat largely.
But in that boat, the contents have shifted as we navigate this storm. Nevada Magazine is now a quarterly publication…that’s the biggest shift. It’s why it’s late July and you’re just now receiving this issue we’re calling Summer 2020. We sent out an email newsletter to everyone we had email addresses for, but if you missed it, you’re welcome to contact us and get on that list.
So, the magazine will now publish four times a year—Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. We’ll send 2020’s Fall issue in mid-October, and starting with 2021, we’ll be on track to ship magazines at the beginning of their respective seasons. You might notice it’s a bit heftier than when you last held an issue, and it’s not the “COVID 15” everyone seemed to gain during quarantine; it’s our new page count. We’re adding more stories, and we’re increasing our digital presence, too. To keep in that Nevada spirit between magazines, we’ll be adding web-only stories to our website throughout the year. We’ll send emails out with new content alerts, so that’s another reason to get on the mailing list.
There was another change that felt pretty big at the time, but has seemed less important in this new normal we find ourselves in. When Janet Geary retired, I took over leadership of the magazine. It is an honor to be at the helm of Nevada Magazine, but I’ve learned something these last few months: I am nothing without the five people I’m so proud to call my staff. Each person has taken on new duties and faced serious challenges in the fight to keep Nevada Magazine’s legacy alive. They’ve done it with no extra pay, fewer hours, and not a single complaint. The love they have for this magazine is breathtaking, at least to me. I cannot thank them enough, but I can tell you, our dear readers, they deserve your thanks.
If you’re feeling so inclined, maybe this is the year you give that gift subscription, buy a ghost town book (wait until you see it!), or pick up our annual historical calendar. We rely on subscriptions and advertising to survive, and I think once you turn the page, you’ll agree it’s a pretty invaluable product we create. We share what makes this state so perfectly unforgettable, and to me that feels pretty essential.
Megg Mueller, Executive Editor