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Publisher's Letter

Rocking the Boat

An entry consisted of three covers, but we have to think the one that got the judges’ attention was an illustration of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on our July 2013 cover.

A few years ago, we did a piece on Bob Norman, when he was the investigative star of New Times in its Broward-Palm Beach edition. When we asked him about various awards he had received, he said he enjoyed the one where Tom Brokaw made the presentation, then added “they give too many awards.” Norman is gone from New Times and the weekly paper seems to have pretty much gone from our market, as well.

In general, we rate Norman’s cynical attitude to be mostly true, which is why we don’t make too big a deal of winning stuff in several contests we routinely enter each year. But this year there was an exception. Gold Coast recently received awards for its covers in both the Florida Magazine Association’s contest and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards. The latter includes both newspapers and magazines, although they award in separate categories. An entry consisted of three covers, but we have to think the one that got the judges’ attention was an illustration of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on our July 2013 cover.

Of course, we cheated. Unlike almost everyone who has contributed to Gulfstream Media Group’s magazines over our almost 50-year history (next April) the artist, Bill Cigliano, is not local. He works out of Chicago, and our Art Director Craig Cottrell had noticed his work and decided to take a shot at landing a major talent. Although he gave us a break, it was still infinitely more expensive than we ever paid for an illustration. In fact, we have used very few illustrations over the years.

One of those rare cover illustrations, however, has gone down in history. When we carried the first version of Gaeton Fonzi’s The Last Investigation in 1980, we found a student at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale to do a JFK sketch. We forget what he was paid, but it sure wouldn’t buy much more than a few martinis on Las Olas Boulevard. We are happy to report that Tod Mason has gone on to better pay and a successful career in New York City. And, just checking his website, even happier that he mentioned our magazine in his credits. That Kennedy illustration was the cover for the first of two long articles that, after years of additional research, Fonzi turned into a book that is now regarded as one of the iconic works on the assassination.

As you might gather from this month’s cover, this is our annual Water Issue, with four stories devoted to the marine industry. That business is big enough to make the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, coming up later this month, the largest event of its kind in the world. Our boating articles feature the work of staff photographer Jason Nuttle.

It is hard to believe that next spring will mark the 50th anniversary of this magazine. It’s even harder to believe that it has been more than 25 years since our former Associate Publisher John Broderick invented the “Who’s Who in Charity & the Arts” feature. He actually did it for another magazine, which soon expired. But we picked up the concept as a way of rebuilding this magazine at the end of a long lawsuit against people who almost ran it into the ground. We did not even intend it as an annual feature, but it worked so well we decided to do it again. And it worked so well that most regional magazines, including some of the best known, have adopted the idea with annual philanthropy issues.

Success has many fathers, they say, but we modestly claim to be the first among the fathers.