Publishing in Florida
Jerry Powers launched The Daily Planet in Coconut Grove in the late ’60s, introducing greater Miami’s first “underground” newspaper. In the late 1980s, he launched Ocean Drive.
Jerry Powers, founder of Ocean Drive magazine, has launched a fashion and lifestyle magazine in the Tampa Bay area and will launch in Miami this fall. [Photo: Daniel Portnoy]
After selling Ocean Drive in 2007 and eventually leaving the company that bought it, he joined PLUM, hoping to expand the company’s lifestyle TV stations into print magazines. PLUM collapsed last fall. This year, Powers launched Bay Pop magazine, which covers fashion and luxury lifestyle in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. In October, Powers will launch Miami Pop, a website covering lifestyle, real estate, parties, events, celebrities and business personalities, paired with a quarterly magazine.
Florida Trend: Why start a new print magazine in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area now?
Jerry Powers: They have this whole cafe thing going and museums and theaters and this whole young population, the beginning of something big: Young designers, great sculptors and great painters and just a young, vibrant society. And I discovered that the decision-makers for businesses for advertising, a lot of them were in their late 30s to 70s and they were very pro print.
FT: Why try to compete with all the other magazines in Miami?
JP: Miami is for some reason very crowded with print. You’ve got Ocean Drive, you’ve got Miami magazine, you’ve got Haute Living, you’ve got two or three Spanish magazines. But none of them does anything digital other than repost their static content on their website. Our website in Miami is coming out simultaneously in four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. It will be updated 24/7. Half the site is going to be done by our writers, photographers, videographers, and half is going to be blogs or citizen journalists. We’re going to get people really involved. The print magazine part of Miami is going to be a very small part of what we do. I’m only going to do it four times a year, a coffee-table-type book.
FT: Why do you think advertisers will be interested in Miami Pop?
JP: Miami has changed so much in the past four or five years. The new money that has come into Miami is Russian money, Brazilian money, Spanish money. Two of the top 10 restaurants in the world in terms of high gross are a block away from each other, which is Prime 112 and Joe’s Stone Crab. Restaurants are open until 1, 2 o’clock in the morning. On top of that, the fact that it’s not seasonal anymore — it’s year-round. When you drive across the causeway, you see all these enormous billboards for all these big brands. Their advertising philosophies are about advertising in an area of influence. Miami never used to be part of it.
FT: Do you have plans for other publications in the state?
JP: In 2013, we’re expanding into Naples and Orlando.