Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Today's Catch: Big Deals

By Chris Philips, Managing Editor

This month marks several milestones for Fishermen’s News. When my brother Peter and I purchased the paper in 2001, we inherited an experienced staff that immediately retired, leaving us to hire an editor, a sales manager, and accounting manager and a circulation manager. Over the years, we have assembled a staff of talented individuals, and the paper you see today is the result of their hard work.

Our first editor left in June of 2005, and I took over the editorial duties. In August of that year, Jim Cole, who had been a friend and professional colleague of my father’s for decades, approached me about a project. Jim is an industrial designer and draftsman who has worked for the country’s leading naval architecture firms for more than 50 years, and he has always wanted to write a book on the historical fishing vessels of the Pacific Northwest. He finally came to the conclusion that the best way to get started would be to write a series of columns for Fishermen’s News. I wholeheartedly agreed, and Jim submitted his first column of the new series, Drawing on Our History, for the December, 2005 issue.

After several years of submitting columns, Jim’s real work began in earnest in September 2010 when he and our lead book designer Marilyn Esguerra started crafting Drawing on Our History: Fishing Vessels of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, along with editor Petyr Beck, of Documentary Media.

Jim Cole’s magnum opus is a gorgeous showcase of Jim’s life’s work, and includes descriptions of the boats, from the earliest Native American canoes to the most modern freezer longliners, with line drawings, pen and ink sketches and beautiful watercolors. Anyone interested or engaged in the West Coast commercial fishing industry should see this amazing book. Jim Cole will be on hand at the Fishermen’s News booth (220) at the Pacific Marine Expo on Thursday, November 21st, between 2 pm and 4 pm, to sign copies of his new book.

About the time we started working with Jim Cole, we found a talented salesman, Bill Forslund, who has contributed greatly to our current success. His hard work over the years has helped us grow in size and circulation, and we remain the most widely circulated commercial fishing publication on the West Coast.

With the help of our staff, our talented contributors and our loyal advertisers, as well as the continued support of our subscribers, we have grown to the point where it makes sense to have the circulation of Fishermen’s News audited by an independent auditor, as our sister publication, Pacific Maritime Magazine is audited. This new audit simply confirms that the subscribers who read Fishermen’s News are indeed the people we say they are. The subscription forms you have been filling out for years, with a box to check your industry affiliation, will be checked to confirm that we are indeed sending the paper to the industry. This will allow us to better serve our advertisers.

More importantly, I’m excited to announce that, after 68 continuous years of publishing a tabloid newsprint publication,Fishermen’s News is upgrading to a four-color, glossy magazine, starting with the January 2014 issue. Peter and I have been publishing magazines for 25 years, and we’ll put our production staff up against any competitor’s staff in terms of style, efficiency and quality of work – especially those who outsource their production overseas.

We hope you’ll like the new format, and we hope you’ll give us feedback on what we can do better (and what we’re doing well). While the format will change, we’ll keep all of our established contributors and continue to provide the best coverage of the West Coast fishing industry, from San Diego to St. Paul Island.

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