Evan West, executive editor of Indianapolis Monthly, starts off his piece about the current state of The Saturday Evening Post wonderfully.
He cleverly connects the operation’s 21st century accoutrements to its once glorious 20th century heyday. An era when circulation topped seven million:
Almost everything about the headquarters of The Saturday Evening Post seems dated. The squat cement building and the inner-city office park. The Quaker spindle chairs in the conference room, which doubles as a museum with antiquey artifacts from ads that appeared in the Post in the early 1900s. The display cases in the lobby filled with collectible painted plates and porcelain figurines arranged in charming vignettes, all of which depict scenes from Norman Rockwell paintings that graced Post covers in simpler times, when American boys had cowlicks and all the little girls wore dresses.
West’s piece is all about the efforts of current publisher Joan SerVaas, a former attorney whose late father dad Beurt bought the magazine when she was in high school. At one point, Ser Vaas, who inherited the magazine after her father’s death in February, says tellingly that one of the biggest current problems faced by the publication is that “people don’t know we’re still publishing.”
SerVaas has been at the helm as publisher since 2008 and is currently overseeing the effort to fully digitize the magazine’s archives. In her conversation with West, she also addresses an aborted recent plan to relocate the Evening Post offices from Indianapolis to Philadelphia and a recent redesign of the magazine.
Here at FishbowlNY, we’re definitely pulling for her.