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Monday, Dec 4, 2023

North County Publication Ceases Its Operations

After nearly three years,

North San Diego County Magazine

has closed its doors.

The regional magazine, which covered lifestyle, arts, entertainment, environment, news and businesses in the North County, had maintained a strong presence in the community, but struggled in the past year.

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The magazine, which had a staff of seven, was finding it tough to survive in the market, a situation made worse when founder Evan Israel, an established media and publishing figure in San Diego for the last 10 years, fell ill nearly one year ago.

Slow Process

Annie McLhinney-Cochran, the publisher of North, which it was commonly known as, said the magazine was seeking outside offers and had interest from five potential buyers, but that time ran out.

“We were in discussions with another organization that was going to absorb us, but it didn’t happen,” she said.

McLhinney-Cochran added, “We were trying to sell the magazine for the last six months, but unfortunately things did not work quickly enough.”

The magazine, which was founded in July 2002, published its last issue in May and closed its Oceanside office June 1.

McLhinney-Cochran said the publication sent out a notification to its advertisers and subscribers May 31 letting them know of the closure.

With 40,000 copies mailed monthly to more than 500 locations, including a direct mailing of 15,000 to high-income households throughout North County, the magazine had been popular with residents and businesses alike, McLhinney-Cochran said.

Home to more than 735,000 residents, North County refers roughly to the area encompassing the coast from Oceanside to Del Mar and inland from Escondido to Poway. The area has become one of the fastest growing populations in San Diego County , a region that North Magazine specifically catered to, she said.

“The North County was in need of their own regional publication.

San Diego Magazine

simply does not address North County,” she said. “Probably 10 percent of the media coverage is dedicated to the North County, but almost half of the population lives there.”

McLhinney-Cochran said that she would not be surprised if someone steps in to fill the magazine’s shoes.

“I don’t think it will be long before someone pops into that market,” McLhinney-Cochran said.

The North County is already home to many community newspapers, as well as

Ranch & Coast Magazine,

a monthly luxury lifestyle magazine serving the communities of Rancho Santa Fe, south Carlsbad, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Carmel Valley and La Jolla , which might have impacted the young publication.

“Advertising revenue is really the only way that those magazines can survive,” said hotel consultant Bob Rauch, who opened Homewood Suites by Hilton in San Diego in late May. “Advertising revenue is really very difficult to come by today. There are so many different mechanisms out there, the Internet. It’s very competitive.”

Rauch said he had set aside some money to advertise in the publication for his new hotel, which is in Carmel Valley.

“It made sense for us to be in that type of market,” he said. “It is disappointing. That publication focused on things to do and things that happen in San Diego North. As much as I like San Diego Magazine, it has a macro format. San Diego North needs a publication such as that (North Magazine).”

For advertisers that relied on the magazine, the departure leaves a gap in their campaign.

Debbie Gilia, office manager for Phillips Abbey Carpet, a San Diego-based flooring company, said nearly 50 percent of her customers have found them through advertising venues such as North Magazine.

The carpet company, which has been advertising with the publication since its inception, had not been aware of the magazine’s troubles, Gilia said, adding that she had just received an ad copy for next month’s issue last week.

Since the publication’s future had been in limbo, the magazine had been billing on a month-to-month basis, resulting in no advertiser being out any money, McLhinney-Cochran said.


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