Looking back 50 years ...
This is the year Gold Coast magazine was launched in the spring of 1965. The exact month of publication has not been preserved, but the first issue has been, and judging by the dates of events covered, as well as references to a “season” just completed, it is clear the magazine first appeared about the time snowbirds were heading north. April is a pretty safe guess, and so we celebrate our 50th in that month.
What was at the time a single magazine geared mostly to Fort Lauderdale, with a nod toward Boca Raton and Palm Beach, has grown over the decades to a number of publications. Our six lifestyle magazines, span a market from Broward County to Fort Pierce. That’s more than 100 miles through three counties. No other local media outlet, including newspapers and TV, offers such range. Our company also produces another half dozen specialty magazines, in print or digital format, often in both.
Because we have been at it since 1970, we often get credit for starting the magazine. Actually, Yolanda Maurer was the founding publisher. She was supported by a formidable group of investors, most noteworthy Theresa Castro, at the time one of the area’s leading philanthropists. The name Castro was synonymous with convertible furniture and Castro was one of the magazine’s first and most important advertisers. Few of those 1965 advertisers are still around. Maus & Hoffman and Carroll’s Jewelers are two of them. And if 50 years seems like a long time, try 75. In 1940 William Maus and Frank Hoffman opened their high-end men’s clothing store on Las Olas Boulevard.
Still, 50 years makes us one of the older city/regional magazines. As we pointed out in last year’s book, The Philadelphia Magazine Story, that city’s magazine claims to be more than 100 years old. In reality, under the present family ownership, it dates to the late 1940s, but it can justly claim to have invented a new media form. By 1965, the year we left newspaper work to join its staff, Philadelphia magazine was attracting national attention and inspiring imitators in other major markets. Among them are some of the best, Washingtonian (1965), New York (1968), Boston (owned by Philadelphia magazine since 1970) and Texas Monthly (1973).
Our book was never a city magazine in the strictest sense, although we took some of the ideas that had worked so well in Philadelphia. We were more influenced by the affluent lifestyle genre, including Palm Beach Life, still owned and published (since the early 1900s) a few times a year by the Cox Media Group. It was our only real competition in the 1960s. Today there are at least 40 magazines (including our six) between Dade and Indian River counties. We would complain about the competition, except for the fact that our related company offers Magazine Manager, a software product that is being used by hundreds of regional magazines in 14 countries. Who would have thought it in 1965?