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Magazine replaces yearbook

By Danielle Rideau
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 24, 2005
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A new university magazine hits the newsstands today, replacing the Desert Yearbook that was eliminated this year because of inadequate sales and poor advertising.

To fill the yearbook's void, Arizona Student Media replaced the publication with a bimonthly magazine.

RedBlue is the first Arizona Student Media-sponsored student magazine and will feature a look into student life in areas of entertainment, fashion, sex, relationships and the Tucson scene, said Editor in Chief Lauren Miller.

Typically, yearbooks serve to provide a retrospective view on the past year, but the magazine's approach will be more current and focused on "what's happening now," said Carrie Bui, RedBlue managing editor.

The magazine is also another way to provide students with news that is alternative to the Arizona Daily Wildcat, said Arizona Student Media Director Mark Woodhams.

While the magazine's staff is trying to provide students with a different news option, they don't aim to compete with the Wildcat but rather coexist, said Miller, a journalism junior.

The suggestion to change publications was made after officials took a close look at the history of the yearbook's success, or lack thereof.

The yearbook has had somewhat of a checkered past when it comes to its popularity. The Desert Yearbook was part of the university for 90 years before the last publishing in 1997 and then after a short hiatus it made a comeback in the 2003-2004 school year, Woodhams said.

Again, the yearbook proved to be unsuccessful and only sold 400 books out of more than 37,000 students, causing its termination this year, Miller said.

Part of last year's problems involved the yearbook publishing company, Taylor Publishing, which changed their advertising strategy, causing financial losses at each of the schools they produced yearbooks for, Woodhams said.

As a result, many yearbook groups have found themselves without funding, Woodhams said.

As an alternative, Woodhams suggested the yearbook staff create a magazine instead of trying to revamp the yearbook's appeal and publisher, Miller said.

But just because the yearbook isn't going to be published this year, that doesn't mean it is gone forever, Woodhams said.

"It doesn't mean there will be no more yearbook," Woodhams said.

Daniel Scarpinato, the 2004 Desert Yearbook's editor in chief, said he was disappointed to hear the yearbook has been discontinued.

"I felt like it would have been a renaissance," Scarpinato said. "There could have been a bigger demand for the yearbook at UA if they targeted the right students."

Kevin Klaus, the 2005 editor in chief, shared his sentiments of disappointment but said the magazine could be an easier way for students to put out a publication.

"It is a little disappointing the yearbook didn't continue, but at the same time I'd like to see the magazine succeed," Klaus said. "It might be a lot easier (to produce) if it's bimonthly."

Because the magazine is in its beginning stages, RedBlue is being funded by Arizona Student Media, but soon Miller said she hopes it will be entirely supported by advertising.

Arizona Student Media does not receive funding from the UA because it is self-supported by advertisements. Departments in Arizona Student Media include the Wildcat, KAMP Student Radio and UATV-3.

Representatives from RedBlue will have a table on the UA Mall today to inform students about the new media installment.

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