Full Circle

Published on: Sun, Jun 10, 2018

Some 20,000 of you read this column each week in the printed rather than online version of the Denton Record-Chronicle (DRC). I imagine your Sunday morning similar to Tim’s and mine. We traipse out to the front yard, pick up the paper from the driveway and then sit leisurely, sipping coffee and sharing sections of the paper back and forth across the kitchen table.

Were you as pleased as we were about this morning’s new insert? For the first time ever, the Fall-Winter 2018 edition of Denton Live magazine is inside every DRC subscriber’s Sunday paper.

While it’s new to DRC subscribers, Denton Live has been around for a long time. In fact, in a roundabout way, Denton Live has finally come home.

Denton Live was born in 2005 as the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) magazine-style visitor guide. Utilizing long-form narrative storytelling, she took off strong and was one of that year’s most talked about Texas tourism ventures.  In the 13 years since that first issue launched, the magazine has been through several renditions, publishers, editors and scores of writers and photographers, maintaining relevance and getting the job done all along the way.

The magazine is published twice a year in December and May, with a circulation of 60,000 copies at each printing. Distribution is through Texas Travel Information Centers, visitor centers across the state and in parts of Oklahoma and Louisiana. A supply of each issue is also reserved for distribution to visitors in the Discover Denton Welcome Center, Denton hotels, on university campuses, at attractions and festivals, and in high visitor traffic areas like downtown and the convention center.

Since its origin, Denton Live’s mission has been to tout our city’s essence through the lenses of our many special events, attractions, venues and amenities. It is a written invitation to would-be visitors and locals alike to experience Denton.

Denton Live’s predecessor was a small, narrative-free publication consisting mostly of amenity listings and upcoming events. It was called simply the Denton Visitor Guide, and what most people don’t know is that it was printed by the DRC. That publication paved the way to Denton Live, and now 14 years later, she’s come full circle, is all grown up and back at the DRC.

The DRC herself came full circle this year, too. In January, Publisher Bill Patterson purchased the paper back from the Belo Corporation who bought it from the Patterson family in 1999. The Patterson’s had owned the DRC since 1945. It seems fitting that Denton Live rejoined the DRC fold at the same moment in time that the DRC became truly local again.

That’s how the magazine ended up in your paper this morning. A major benefit of moving Denton Live to the DRC from its most recent publishing house at UNT’s Mayborn College of Journalism was the additional circulation going to DRC subscribers.

The Mayborn still has a hand in Denton Live, though.

“Writers from The Mayborn are still key to our content,” said Wendy Haun, Digital Marketing Coordinator at the CVB and Creative Director for Denton Live since 2015. “Some of the best writers are still with us, even after graduating. Now they’re on professional assignments, writing blogs and other social media content in addition to the magazine.”

DentonLIVE celebrates its 10th Anniversary with members of the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau team and the UNT Mayborn School of Journalism. From left to right: CVB Director of Sales Dana Lodge, Welcome Center co-manager Jake Laughlin, CVB VP Kim Phillips, Chamber of Commerce President Chuck Carpenter, Denton Live editor and Mayborn adjunct professor Eric Nishimoto, Mayborn School of Journalism Dean Dorothy Bland, Denton Live Creative Director Wendy Haun, Mayborn School of Journalism assistant Brandee Hartley and CVB Director of Communications Veronica Maldonado (Photo by Junebug Clark)

Since January, Wendy holds the Denton Live Editor title. Her expertise coupled with a CVB Denton Live Committee, allows the entire magazine to be published in-house at the CVB, a savings in both human and financial resources. The DRC handles advertising, printing and partial distribution responsibilities.

You probably notice Denton Live’s new look. Wendy and the CVB marketing team redesigned the cover and masthead to be more in line with the CVB’s Original and Independent Denton brand.

“And, the stories are shorter, snappier pieces that don’t require a deep dive or long read,” Wendy explained. “We believe that’s important for visitors. We’re using short pieces that connect to Denton beyond the story itself.” She cited the story in this issue about Hanabi Ramen as an example. It leads readers to discover other restaurants through “shout outs” within and around the short narrative.

Wendy’s own story has come full circle, too. With a journalism degree from Kansas State and a Masters in Sports Marketing from Indiana University, Wendy worked in several marketing positions after graduation, including UNT and the Denton County Transportation Authority, before joining the CVB team three years ago. “Denton Live has become my project, one I’m really proud of. And it’s allowed me to use all I’ve learned along the way so far,” she said.

Serendipity maybe? Perhaps. It’s full circle all the way around, for sure.

Denton Live is free at the Discover Denton Welcome Center in downtown Denton, open seven days a week. Or, you can read it online at our Denton Live downloads page.