Our May issue was printed this weekend. It will go through the stitcher and bindery Monday and will be mailed Tuesday. There is an outside chance it will be in the mail Monday, but I've been promised Tuesday.
This is a special issue. It marks the transition between "Clay Henry production" and the professional team from Stephens Media Group. I've done it for the last 13 years and it has taken a lot of my time.
From the time that Stephens Media Group began to talk to me about the purchase, the major attraction was the addition of a professional team of graphic designers to do the production of the magazine.
This should free me to do more writing and spend more time on the board. This past week was the final step in that transition. The team completed a redesign of the magazine about two weeks ago, and then produced the May issue last week.
I got goose bumps looking at their work Monday-Thursday of last week. We sent the magazine to the printer Friday afternoon and it was printed this weekend.
The changes in the layout and design are huge. I've always done the layout and design and that is not my strength (although I'm not sure that I actually have a strength). These guys do this for a living full time. They don't spend about 10 percent of their time in QuarkExpress and PhotoShop like I did over the past 12 years. They do it every minute of every day.
I'm thrilled about this transition for many reasons. It marks the turning of a corner for me in the way I do my job.
Of course, one of the big reasons that I went with Stephens Media Group (in October of last year) was to add fulltime help and that was accomplished with Dudley Dawson. You saw the benefits in that regard this weekend with the stories and notes filed by Dudley from Houston at the Kingwood Classic. You guys got all of that news first.
But there were other reasons and the addition of professional graphic designers and production help was another huge step.
The one thing I've been told from the start by the brass at Stephens Media is that they want Hawgs Illustrated to be their crown jewel in their media group. The focus to attention and detail by the design team over the past month was great evidence to me that all of that is taking place.
I know that many of you wondered about my decision when I sold Hawgs Illustrated. I knew from the start that it was going to lead to something big and exciting. I know now that it was the right move.
We've already begun work on our summer football preview, our June/July magazine. We have plans to make it the best we've ever done. It's fun for me and I know you guys will enjoy it.
For those that aren't subscribers, we can change that for you if you'll call our subscription office at 800-757-6277. Cost of 19 issues per year is $44.90.
Letter from the Publisher
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