JOURNALIST Q&A: Katie Tamony

Alert readers of Sunset magazine will have noticed that the look of the publication has changed over the past year, culminating with a new logo and tagline in the March issue. To appeal to younger readers, the editors at this Time Warner-owned monthly dedicated to life in the western US have been modernizing the 106-year-old title's appearance. Here editor-in-chief Katie Tamony talks about the thinking behind the changes.

Alert readers of Sunset magazine will have noticed that the look of the publication has changed over the past year, culminating with a new logo and tagline in the March issue. To appeal to younger readers, the editors at this Time Warner-owned monthly dedicated to life in the western US have been modernizing the 106-year-old title's appearance. Here editor-in-chief Katie Tamony talks about the thinking behind the changes.

PRWeek: What led to the changes that the magazine has been undergoing over the past year? Katie Tamony: It began when I came on board as editor about two-and-a-half years ago and began working with the team to identify how to update the look of Sunset in order to keep our current readership and attract a new generation of Sunset readers. We discovered that we wanted to reinforce some of Sunset's classic design heritage and its appeal as a guidebook to living in the western US, but, at the same time, make it feel more contemporary and more attractive to an audience that has seen a lot of new launches and redesigns in the past 10 or 15 years in the lifestyle category. We wanted to go back to the classic logo to reinforce our heritage, our authority with readers and show, at the same time, that we're making more modernizing changes. We also changed our tagline from "The Magazine of Western Living" to "Life in the West: Home, Travel, Food, Garden" to more accurately position the magazine. We found that "Western" made people think the magazine might have more to do with the Old West than the current West. From the name Sunset, you can't tell immediately what topic we cover. PRWeek: What kind of demographic are you aiming for with the next generation of Sunset readers? Tamony: It's similar to the demographic I belong in, which is 30- to 40-year-olds who are owning their first homes and just discovered the material Sunset is all about, combining a love of making your house look the best it can, spending your weekend making close-to-home trips, cooking with friends, and all those things that make up the Western lifestyle. PRWeek: You're also expanding the features well. Do you expect the magazine to venture into new areas of interest? Tamony: I think so. We wanted to first get our structure or format in clean, organized shape, and that will allow us to go into areas we haven't thought of before. We're starting to get more people into the magazine. It may mean that we cover topics you never would have thought Sunset would cover. And I'm hoping that that new structure inspires our staff to think differently. PRWeek: When you say "more people," are you talking about public figures, average people, or a combination? Tamony: It's a combination, actually. We're showing homeowners themselves in their actual homes, like in the March issue. It could be a chef or a landscape designer, and we're not just quoting them but showing them in the environment in which they work or live. ----- Name Katie Tamony Publication Sunset magazine Title Editor-in-chief Preferred contact information openhouse@sunset.com Website www.sunset.com

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