Press Clips: How Montecito Journal is Expanding Its Footprint in Local Media Space
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
It was just last year -- it only seems like 10 years ago - that Gwyn Lurie led a local investor-group purchase of the venerable Montecito Journal community newspaper.
Needless to say, Lurie did not count on getting underway amid the deadliest public health crisis in a century, the worst economic collapse in a generation and the most consequential national reckoning over racism since the 1960s. Despite navigating the most difficult and disruptive year in modern memory, however, she and her team have made considerable headway, on both the journalism and the business sides of the outfit.
"We're fortunate that Montecito real estate has been so hot," Lurie, the Journal's Editor and CEO laughed, referencing the paper's most crucial and reliable advertising stream.
A year after Gwyn and her backers bought the Journal from the Buckley family, the paper's news coverage has become tougher and more ambitious, its design sharper and its political stances more liberal -- while she and President and COO Tim Buckley have simultaneously launched a series of new projects designed to expand its reach, extend its brand and broaden its portfolio.
Operating under the umbrella of the Montecito Journal Media Group, she said in a conversation with Newsmakers, the paper recently (finally!) launched its first, real-time website (montecitojournal.net) and also is increasing the publication schedule for its glossy magazine from twice a year to quarterly.
MoJo also is about to release its inaugural issue of the "The Giving List," an extensive guide to non-profits and Santa Barbara's eleemosynary community, published both as a sleek-covered book and digital product, which not only aims to highlight the good works of local organizations but also to provide a portal to connect donors directly to them.
On tap: another publication, titled "The Riv," which focuses on architecture, home design and the Santa Barbara aesthetic, as well as a 2021 revamp and upgrade of the Sentinel, the city-focused fortnightly stepchild of the Journal.
Amid the start-ups and new ventures, Gwyn still oversees the news of the week, and in our interview provides updates on the just-completed, contentious campaigns over a failed bond issue for Cold Springs school and seats on the Montecito Sanitary District; business recoveries on Coast Village Road; and the successful returns to class for Cold Springs and the Montecito Union School Districts.
Plus: What's new on the Prince Harry-Meghan Markle beat.