Barry Fain, Richard Fleischer, and John Howell, the publishers behind Rhode Island’s family of six free award-winning lifestyle magazines doing business as Providence Media, have recently announced plans to merge two of them, East Side Monthly and Providence Monthly into a single expanded magazine. Set to launch in early June, this new product will retain the Providence Monthly name.
“I started East Side Monthly forty-five years ago from my home,” explains Fain. The popular glossy monthly began as a weekly newspaper, and through the years has undergone many iterations. “This is just another one of those changes,” says Fain. Fleischer is quick to add that talks of combining the East Side and Providence magazines have been in discussion for well over a year. Says Fleischer, “The company’s recent pause from printing due to COVID-19 circumstances and upcoming relaunch led to the decision that the time is right to combine.”
Providence Monthly recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary. “We are Providence’s magazine,” says Fain. “We believe in community journalism and this merger will only strengthen our voice and how we tell our city’s stories.”
Printed issues of both magazines were put on hold starting with April; during that time the company channeled its efforts into digital – focusing on online content, boosting its social media presence, and making their weekly e-newsletter into a daily. A revamped website is also in the works.
The circulation of the new publication will increase to over 20,000 as it expands to encompass more neighborhoods and businesses throughout the city. East Side Monthly has long been mailed to every address in the 02906 zip code, something that will continue with the new Providence Monthly. An astute move, especially since many of the cafes and small shops where readers generally pick up copies of the magazines are currently curbside only. Distribution at markets will also be increased at this time.
“East Side Monthly has been my baby,” says Fain. “But we are all excited about this next chapter.”
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