The California Sunday Magazine Launches This Weekend

California Sunday October 2014 Print Cover

We’ve been working on The California Sunday Magazine for more than a year, and this weekend we publish the debut issue (digital yesterday, print tomorrow). Stories by Carina Chocano, Daniel Alarcon, Carolina Miranda, Roland Kelts, Nicole Allan, Lauren Smiley, Heather Hansman, Mark Arax, and Pendarvis Harshaw; photographs by Will Adler, Holly Andres, Omar Lucas, Daniel Shea, Gui Martinez, Dru Donovan, and Ian Allen; illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton, Tucker Nichols, and Christopher David Ryan; a conversation between Gia Coppola and Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy; an animated film by Brian Rea and Pablo Declan, narrated by filmmaker Mike Mills; some wonderful ads (some produced in partnership with our “story ads” team) from Lexus, Google Play, Nest, MailChimp, the University of California, Ace Hotel, the California Endowment, and Chronicle Books; and nice editor’s letter from my partner in crime, Doug McGray.

Some of the coverage:

“Will This New Magazine Be California’s Answer to the ‘New Yorker’?”
Mother Jones

“The organizers of Pop-Up Magazine have turned their franchise into something even more old-fashioned: a media company with a print edition. Starting on Oct. 2, their company, California Sunday, will publish original articles by (and largely for) Californians on a mobile app and website as well as in a glossy, monthly print edition packaged with Sunday issues of the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and Sacramento Bee.”
Bloomberg Businessweek

“Part of Pop-Up’s success…is that it capitalizes on a desire for a lean-back media experience — it’s held at night and the audience often gathers at a bar after the event. ‘We spend so much time scanning media at our desks, it’s hard to pay attention,’ McGray says. ‘We’re distracted.’ He predicted that a digital and print product that arrived only on the weekend would also fit this leisure-time niche. Based on initial reactions to the magazine, he seems to be on to something.”
NiemanLab

“We’re launching a magazine that has a print title…. People read so many different ways. There are people who only read on their phones, there are people who really like tablets, and there are people who hate tablets and really love their laptops, and there are people who love nothing more than print. We like the idea of being wherever it is that people read.”
–Editor Doug McGray on KPCC Public Radio

“For everyone out there who’s a fan of Pop-Up Magazine’s superb live storytelling, but wishes the team behind it would give you something to read at your leisure, check this out.”
The Bold Italic

“That means California Sunday Magazine will debut on the Web, across a range of devices (Apple iPhone, Google Android, Amazon Kindle), as well as a print insert to 400,000 selected readers of the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee.”
Re/Code

“Original, thoughtful content (stories, photography and illustrations) will be shared by way of a subscription-based mobile app and website, as well as a monthly printed edition packaged for free with the Sunday issues of the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee (delivering an immediate 400,000-person circulation). This is a publication made with Californians in mind, and meant to rival the literary magazine hub of New York City.”
Cool Hunting

“We’re a magazine of stories, mostly about people. We’re interested in the lives lived all around us. We like vivid characters and surprising plots. And we’re curious about everything: culture, politics, science, business, food, entertainment, social issues, technology, art, and more.”
–Editor Doug McGray in Los Angeles Magazine

“The first issue has advertising from eight companies, including Nest, Lexus, Google…. Some of the spots are ‘story advertisements,’ such as a Lexus ad structured as a travel piece on Napa and Sonoma wine country. That ad follows the magazine’s ethos: It’s a storytelling publication, meant to be read at a leisurely, weekend pace…. Not for nothing is it being discussed as ‘California’s answer to The New Yorker.’”
Columbia Journalism Review

“The magazine is made in California. So when it comes to photography, whenever possible we use artists who have a deep, authentic connection to this place, creatively and personally. And that authenticity can be seen in their photographs. We always want to surprise readers. California Sunday imagery will feel cinematic, thought-provoking, not overly stylized or retouched. A sense of place is really important to the magazine, so there won’t be a lot of studio photography.”
–Photo director Jackie Bates in aPhotoEditor

“Filled with stories and photography focused on California culture from all its myriad micro-universes.”
Boing Boing

“What makes the print magazine scalable from the start is a deal that the company has struck with the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Sacramento Bee…. [The] new company will continue to produce [Pop-Up Magazine shows] as well as what it considers weekend reading: meaty narrative storytelling.”
Fast Company

“[The] California Sunday Magazine has a diabolically clever distribution strategy: It will appear in the Sunday editions of several major California newspapers.”
Bernalwood

“A new weekly magazine called California Sunday was announced this morning, and reaction was immediate and joyous. The very creative business idea is to put the print mag inside the state’s biggest Sunday papers, while having all the websites and apps that are exciting to new-media people but can’t charge Sunday paper ad rates.”
Gawker (from earlier in the year)

“The print title forms the core of a new media company born of a partnership of new and old media professionals: former Digg.com and Federated Media exec Chas Edwards and Douglas McGray, a magazine writer for titles like Wired and the New Yorker and impresario of a live series of Bay Area events, Pop Up Magazine.”
International Business Times

“The monthly, print-side [of California Sunday's] business model is most intriguing. Not only does it give them instant traction at both the advertiser and circulation-base ends. But if successful, it could prove to be a model of revenue for other grouped regional newspapers.”
Mediabistro

“That’s not the only asset the team is bringing to bear. California Sunday also has a successful event strategy — it’s folding McGray’s popular Pop-Up Magazine series into the company as well. And it has built a studio to help brands execute content marketing inside the magazine’s pages. Oh, and it has some of the best talent in the state, from Michael Pollan to Farhad Manjoo, as contributors.”
John Battelle’s Searchblog

“McGray and Edwards’ impressive editorial team includes: creative director Leo Jung, formerly the design director at Wired and deputy art director at the New York Times Magazine, and photography director Jacqueline Bates, previously the senior photo editor of W magazine. She also worked in the photo departments of ELLE, Interview, and Wired.”
Society of Publication Designers

“The California Sunday Magazine, a new general-interest monthly that’s launching in print, online and on phones and tablets in early October, is taking content marketing to a new place: the stage.”
Digiday

“Helmed by S.F.’s Douglas McGray (editor and co-creator of Pop-Up Magazine and contributor to This American Life and The New Yorker), California Sunday is about gorgeous photography and evocative longform reporting on the stories that make our fair state the beautiful beast she is. And they’ve got the chops to pull it off, with behind-the-scenes talent from Wired, the New York Times, W Magazine and Digg alongside Cali’s deep bench of proven storytellers and visual artists.”
Inside Hook

  1. # Bill Coggshall said: November 12th, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Finally, a publication to do in and for the west (plus!) what The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek do in the east and for the whole country. Silicon Valley alone (only a small part of The California Sunday Magazine’s geographic scope) is responsible for CREATING a lot more wealth than New York City, but New York City is PUBLISHING a lot more than Silicon Valley. I have some ideas for both you and Douglas McGray that I will put into an email.

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