Favorite

The Oxford American expands beyond print 

click to enlarge Oxford American magazine image

The Oxford American, the 19-year-old "Southern Magazine of Good Writing" that has been published in Arkansas since 2002 and run under the auspices of the non-profit Oxford American Literary Project since 2004, has signed a five-year lease on the buildings at 1300 Main Street that formerly housed Juanita's. The business staff of the non-profit will move into office space on the property at the end of November or early December. The editorial offices of the magazine, which have been housed on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas since 2004, will remain at UCA.

The new space, which includes a stage, a bar, a restaurant kitchen and two large ground-floor rooms, will allow the Oxford American to broaden its reach, publisher Warwick Sabin said.

"I'm looking to continue to develop the Oxford American as more than just a magazine, to establish it as a cultural institution dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Southern culture in all its expressions."

To that end, Sabin said he hopes the new location will eventually house a Southern cafe that will host noteworthy musicians, writers, artists, photographers, chefs, filmmakers, playwrights and others for evening programming. The potential for collaboration with local arts organizations like the Little Rock Film Festival and The Rep is great, he said.

Sabin's vision represents a growing trend among media companies looking to expand beyond their publications. For many, like the venerable Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger, which now sells concert tickets and develops web programs, self-preservation is the driving factor. Until advertising revenues on the web offset a steady decline in print ad revenues (if ever), publishers have to be creative about propping up their bottom lines. Others, like the two-year-old non-profit Texas Tribune, see it as their mission to engage with their communities. "Events are journalism — events are content. And in this new world, content comes to you and you create it in many forms," Evan Smith, the Tribune's chief editor and chief executive, told the website Nieman Journalism Lab in July. "We think much of the technology world embraces 'push' as opposed to 'pull' as a way to reach people. We are taking a 'push' approach to content, and that means going to people with content where they live."

Over the last several years, the Oxford American has taken a similar approach, hosting dozens of events in Arkansas and throughout the South, including a writing summit held this summer at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute that brought the New Yorker's David Remnick to Arkansas and a "Future of the South" symposium held earlier this month at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Sabin said such programming occasionally benefits the editorial budget of the magazine, which publishes quarterly in print and monthly on the web.

Like the Tribune's Smith, Sabin sees the programming as a way, in part, to "push" the magazine's content to readers. With events surrounding the release of its popular Southern music issues, "we want people to experience the music and hear it themselves in venues that have some cultural significance," Sabin said. Of course even if people who go to events don't become readers, the Oxford American still fulfills its mission. That means, ultimately, Sabin is responsible less for selling a magazine than for selling the cultural vitality of the South. As I hope the Oxford American's new home proves, that's a sales pitch with growth potential.

In full disclosure, I worked at the Oxford American early in my career.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Tags:

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • You're doing your 401(k) wrong

    Hundreds of thousands of retirement dollars could be at stake.
    • Jun 22, 2017
  • The No Insight From Dr. No Edition

    A hot car death and Heath Department recommendations, the health care overhaul bill being negotiated in secret in the U.S. Senate, a federal court verdict in a police violence case and more — discussed on this week's podcast.
    • Jun 16, 2017
  • The Nobody Tells Mark Martin What To Do Edition

    Jim Comey and Tom Cotton, dirt dredged up by the Arkansas Legislative Audit, a new thoroughly depressing poll from the University of Arkansas and the dismissal of a lawsuit against the city of Sherwood and others over a hot check court plaintiffs described as a "debtors" prison — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Jun 9, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson lobbyist moves to Teacher Retirement System

    Rett Hatcher, director of legislative affairs for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has left the governor's staff to go to work Wednesday as deputy director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
  • Obamascare

    Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments.
  • Megyn vs. Alex

    As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly's televised confrontation with internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud.

Latest in Media

  • UA cozy with D-G columnist

    An interesting element of the ongoing story of budget problems in the University of Arkansas Advancement Division has been a divide in outlook in the pages of the state's dominant news medium, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
    • Nov 21, 2013
  • Democrat-Gazette covers one of its own in story of reporter Cathy Frye's rescue

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's reports on the rescue of its reporter Cathy Frye, who was missing for days in the hot scrubby desert that is Big Bend Ranch State Park, are gripping.
    • Oct 10, 2013
  • Hodge shares his OA vision

    Roger Hodge, the new editor of Oxford American magazine, talked about his rise at Harper's, his writing philosophy and his plans for the OA before a full crowd last Wednesday at the Clinton School.
    • Sep 26, 2012
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

June

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  

Most Viewed

  • Megyn vs. Alex

    As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly's televised confrontation with internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Megyn vs. Alex

    • You say the same shit over and over again, investigator. How boring. Try real hard…

    • on June 22, 2017
  • Re: Megyn vs. Alex

    • And I quote: "the absurd allegation that Hillary Clint would show up for a presidential…

    • on June 22, 2017
  • Re: Cops and juries

    • And I quote, "You're okay with authority doing whatever it pleases because of the fact…

    • on June 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation