Written by Jen Finn
Time and tide...
Many of you probably gasped when this issue of National Fisherman arrived in your mailbox. After nearly half a century as a newsprint tabloid, your favorite magazine has finally stepped up to coated paper.
It's something we've wanted to do for years, but the price of coated paper always held us at bay. More recently, however, we have seen the disparity in paper prices narrow.
So last summer, we got together with our sister publications, SeaFood Business and WorkBoat, and we were able to leverage the three titles into a coated-paper printing contract that alone we probably could not have pulled off.
Since then, we've been working on a redesign that's consistent with the magazine's longtime strengths and the interests of our readers and advertisers.
The critical design change, other than the improved paper quality, is the shift to a so-called "Time-sized" (after the newsmagazine) format, which is a by-product of the move to coated paper.
This was a chin-scratcher. Coated paper — sometimes referred to as "slick" — means improved quality, but a size change is... well, it's a change. I was fairly confident that advertisers would welcome a brighter, whiter, showcase for their products, but many of you have been reading National Fisherman for a long time. How would you like it?
Eventually I concluded that you'd like it — not because the paper is nicer and the format more modern, but because the magazine is still National Fisherman. That means that while we strive to embody first-rate production values in our printed product, job one, as it has been for nearly 50 years, is serving the U.S. fishing industry.
In other words, this magazine will continue to be worth your while.
And, yes, our November issue will mark the passage of 50 years since Journal Publications, which published Maine Coast Fisherman in Camden, Maine, acquired National Fisherman, then a 20-page, New Hampshire-owned title.
The two titles were merged into one, National Fisherman combined with Maine Coast Fisherman, and distributed from coast to coast until 1967, when "Maine Coast Fisherman" was dropped from the masthead.
Covering the entire U.S. fishing industry isn't easy, but it's interesting. What makes it so, we believe, is you — the fisherman. Regardless of the issue, we have always strived to keep you and your many voices uppermost in our pages.
Over the years, we have covered many great stories, and some not so great. We've been on the right side of some issues and on the wrong side of some others.
But we remain unwavering in our commitment to the mission: "informed fishermen, profitable fisheries, sustainable fish."
Regardless of our format, some things never change.
— Jerry Fraser
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