After 40 issues, we're saying goodbye to our print edition. A note on what comes next:
June 7, 2020
What comes next
You all know our commitment to deeply reported stories, unforgettable photography, and beautiful design. None of that is going to change. But it’s time for our format to evolve. We’ll continue our ambitious work online and in other ways, but we’ve decided to discontinue the print edition of The California Sunday Magazine.
This might sound strange to say about something as timeless as a Sunday magazine that shows up on your doorstep or in your mailbox, but our print edition was dreamed up as an experiment. Most magazines that look and feel like California Sunday got started decades ago, probably at a big media company, probably in New York. We had the idea, in 2013, that we might create something like one of those classic titles, only we’d launch it from a coffee shop in California, we’d hire a handful of collaborators, and we’d reach hundreds of thousands of readers through distribution agreements with other publications, like the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. (Subscribe to them, especially if you live here in California. They’re doing really important work.)
Since the magazine launched at the end of 2014, it has been a finalist for 13 National Magazine Awards, including the top prize three of the past four years. California Sunday won the award for best design and, two years in a row, for best photography. The Society of Publication Designers named our print edition its Magazine of the Year, the publishing industry’s highest award for art and design, in 2018 and 2019. We decided early on that if we were going to have a print edition, we would make something that felt special. I’m enormously proud of our art department’s work.
Today, we present stories in all kinds of different ways. California Sunday’s features and photography reach a big audience online — and we’ve got lots of ambitious new work on the way. We produced a sweeping photo essay about the idea of home, with intimate audio footnotes, that appeared both in the magazine and as gallery exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles. We teamed up with our live multimedia storytelling project, Pop-Up Magazine, on a show at Berkeley’s iconic Greek Theatre and a national tour that visited grand venues like Lincoln Center in New York, the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, and the Paramount in Oakland. And Pop-Up Magazine loves experiments — turning a restaurant into a magazine; producing stories as voicemail messages; pairing a documentary filmmaker with a dancer, and a newspaper columnist with a shadow-theater company. We have so many new ideas that we can’t wait to share with you.
We’re facing the most difficult economic conditions of our lifetimes, especially for a small company that depends on live events and sponsorship. A big-circulation print magazine won’t be viable for us this year or next year, so it seems like the right time to evolve. We’ll miss the print magazine. But we’re looking forward to showing you what comes next. Thanks for reading.