Last week, Berkshire Living was recognized for the fifth time in six years of eligibility for General Excellence in the awards ceremony at the annual gathering of the National City and Regional Magazine Association, which took place in Chicago.
This year’s recognition was bittersweet, as it came in the same week that the curtain finally came down and we had to declare the end, for now, of Berkshire Living magazine.
Almost seven years ago, I first got together with Seth Rogovoy and Laura Morris, who became respectively editor-in-chief and creative director, and we began planning for the regional lifestyle and cultural magazine that I believed the Berkshires deserved. And from the start, the Berkshires responded enthusiastically, supporting the concept and the magazine, and our efforts to build community by tying together so many strands of what made Berkshire living more than a way of life, but a state of mind.
The supportive response we garnered from readers, subscribers, and advertisers in the Berkshires – and beyond – was heartwarming, and we were thrilled to play an essential role in helping to chronicle so many unique Berkshire stories, as well as to provide a canvas for so many talented Berkshire writers, photographers, editors, and artists to display their work. We shined a light on what makes living and visiting the Berkshires so special. In fact, it was often said that Berkshire Living branded the Berkshires better than any other marketing effort or media vehicle, and for that, I am extremely proud.
The Great Recession that began in the fall of 2008 devastated the print magazine business across the nation, but we tried to hold out as long as possible. In the end, however, the only solution to the contraction in the magazine world was for Berkshire Living to be acquired by another company that could bring capital to the table and introduce economies of scale. We had several serious offers, and one deal that went all the way up until closing, but in the end, the deal didn’t happen, and therefore we are left now with having to close our doors.
Berkshire Living and its affiliated print publications are ceasing publication, and we are closing our offices. We are in talks with other magazines in the hopes of making a deal to honor existing subscriptions; more news on that when the time comes.
But today is a time to celebrate our accomplishments rather than to mourn the passing of Berkshire Living and its affiliated, award-winning publications.
So, to that end, I want to pay tribute to the staffers and close associates who put their heart and soul into the magazine over the years: Laura Morris, Josh Getman, Mary Garnish, Amanda Rae Busch, Lesley Ann Beck, Chris Newbound, Adam Michael Rothberg, Abby Wood, Launa O’Gara, Cara Vermeulen, Church Davis, Jen Hines, Karen Couture, Alison McGee, Gladys Montgomery, Miranda Ganzer, and, of course, Seth Rogovoy.
Plus, we would never have succeeded at all if it weren’t for the local talents of the photographer and writers who contributed on a regular basis, including Kevin Sprague, Scott Barrow, Jason Houston, Gregory Cherin, Ogden Gigli, Jane Feldman, Christine Triantos, Tresca Weinstein, Adam Mastoon, Tad Ames, Ed Siegel, Paul Rocheleau, Kit Latham, Alison Kolesar, Clarence Fanto, Jeremy Goodwin, Daniel Bellow, Amanda Gordon, Cassandra Sohn, and Gina Hyams.
You have by no means heard the last from any of these people – stay tuned for exciting developments as they find creative ways to continue chronicling and playing a role in the cultural life of the Berkshires, in the largest sense of the term.
I have been thinking quite a bit about taking up this challenge to begin with nearly seven years ago, and there have been a lot of platitudes written about taking risks, but I was especially drawn to this extraordinary quote recently shown to me by a good friend and written by Teddy Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Thank you to all of you who were in the arena with me as we strived to feel the triumph of high achievement. It was great to have you by my side.
No one was more supportive during the beginning, the middle and the end of Berkshire Living than my wife, Lauren. She moved here to the Berkshires to allow me to follow my dream, giving up a lot along the way. I like to think that she gained even more, but without her, I just wouldn't be the same. I will be forever grateful.
Founder and Publisher
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