Story by Chris Graham
You don’t launch a magazine in a day. For Brad Jenkins, the launch of Shenandoah Living dates back several years.
“This has kind of been something that I’ve been interested in since even being a student at James Madison University. I took a magazine-production class and kind of got interested in the whole thing,” said Jenkins, the publisher of Shenandoah Living, a quarterly magazine that debuted this month.
Jenkins and fellow publisher Toni Mehling had also talked up the idea of a full-color Valley-based magazine during their time together at the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg. Both had moved on to other jobs before the project gained any steam, though.
“When we met, we discovered this mutual feeling that, Hey, the Valley doesn’t have a slick magazine, and it really should,” Jenkins said in an interview on “The Augusta Free Press Show” this week.
“It was one of those dreams that you think about, talk about, but you never really get moving on it until it keeps gnawing at you,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins sent Mehling an e-mail last year to just try to keep in touch – “and I tagged on at the end, By the way, do you still ever think about that magazine idea? And it’s funny, because I remember the e-mail that she sent back was basically three words. ‘All the time’ was all she wrote,” Jenkins said.
The magazine – which is available to dozens of locations throughout the Valley free of charge – features WHSV weather anchor George Hirschmann on the cover and has stories on the local gardening scene, a daytrip to Strasburg and more.
“We want to cover the people, the places and some of the events of the Valley that really make this a beautiful place to live,” Jenkins said. “I think Toni and I both agree that this is one of the most beautiful places in the country to live – and we wanted a publication that could reflect that beauty. And it’s not just the beauty of the landscape. I think the more you meet the people around here, you start to realize that the people around here are very interesting, have some great stories to tell. So we want to tell their stories. And we want to talk about the arts, we want to talk about history, we want to talk about day trips, and we want to give people a calendar of things that they can do around the Valley.”
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Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.