In 1979 Fort Howard Paper Company heir and WFMR-FM radio station owner Doug Cofrin began publishing Milwaukee Magazine, which Cofrin expanded from a monthly pamphlet reporting on local news stories and classical music. Following an unsuccessful 1980 U.S. Senate bid, Cofrin sold the magazine to Cleveland-based City Magazines for $25,000. Struggling to turn a profit, City sold the publication to Quad/Graphics owner Harry Quadracci in 1983 for $50,000. Under the leadership of Harry’s wife—longtime Milwaukee Magazine president and publisher Betty Quadracci—the magazine evolved into a financially stable, award-winning monthly. Employing seasoned editors like Charlie Sykes (1983-1987), Judith Woodburn (1987-1990), John Fennell (1992-2005), and Bruce Murphy (2005-2012), Milwaukee Magazine reported circulation of close to 32,000 in 2015, and an overall readership between 100,000 and 150,000. It continues to provide its readers with a combination of investigative journalism, probing human-interest pieces, and in-depth arts and culture coverage.
- ^ Editors, “Saving Grace,” Milwaukee Magazine, March 6, 2008, last accessed July 31, 2017.
- ^ Bruce Murphy, “The Great Cofrin,” Urban Milwaukee, April 21, 2002, accessed September 25, 2013; Donald Pfarrer, “Cofrin Race Depleting His Assets,” The Milwaukee Journal, August 5, 1980, 1.
- ^ Helen Pauly, “The End Came Quickly,” The Milwaukee Journal, January 11, 1983, 13; Joanne Weintraub, “Reflections on Gloss,” The Milwaukee Journal, February 29, 1988, B1.
- ^ Among its numerous awards, the City and Regional Magazine Association named Milwaukee the top city magazine in its circulation category in 2002 and 2004: Editors, “Saving Grace.”
- ^ Rick Romell, “Magazine Editor to Step Down,” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 27, 2005, 2; Editors, “Saving Grace”; City and Regional Magazine Association Membership Directory, accessed November 29, 2015; Key Facts & Media Kit, Milwaukee Magazine website, accessed November 29, 2015.
For Further Reading
Fennell, John. Ready, Fire, Aim: With a Belief That Ordinary People Can Accomplish Extraordinary Things, Harry V. Quadracci Built a Legendary Printing Company and Changed an Industry. [Wisconsin]: Quadgraphics, 2006.