Editor's Note

I’m a Sophomore Here at Portland Monthly, Going on Junior Year

Editor in Chief Marty Patail reflects on the magazine's shift to a quarterly publication amid coronavirus.

By Marty Patail August 1, 2020 Published in the August 2020 issue of Portland Monthly

Marty Patail 

If this magazine were a school, I’d be entering my junior year after the summer.

That’s right: I’ve been at Portland Monthly for a full 10 years, from twitchy first grader (research editor) to awkward emo kid (associate editor) to still twitchy class president (editor in chief), and that’s not even counting that kindergarten stint I did in the 2000s (intern).

And 10 years ago, furiously scribbling notes and taking lessons from my mentors who now play outsize roles in the office lore, I never thought I’d be the one to write the last regular Portland Monthly editor’s note. But that’s exactly what this is. And that’s exactly what I’m doing.

We’re not going anywhere. Not really. But the Portland Monthly you know, the one I know, is evolving. After this issue, we’re going quarterly for good, putting out four seasonal spectaculars, starting this fall with a big, beefy volume of wine country road trips, restaurants, shops, and design inspirations. And in the meantime, we’re hitting the nitrous on our digital content. You might have noticed our daily news, food, and arts coverage has never been more robust or relevant. That’s because our editors and writers and art directors are coming for your screens.

Marty, you say, that’s preposterous. You’re called Portland Monthly.

Why thank you, make-believe pedant, I’m glad you brought that up. The “monthly” suffix in our name was always a stretch—hell, for the first year of our existence starting in 2003, we were bimonthly. We’ve always had a more frequently updated website, and our digital presence had grown well beyond our physical pages long before the pandemic upset our print schedule and sent us all to our home offices. So I submit to you: Portland Monthly is the brand, it’s our history, it’s a vibe. And so we’re keeping it, because it feels like us. Besides, Portland Quarterly? PQ? Just doesn’t feel right. 

Back to my ham-fisted analogy: I’m a sophomore here at Portland Monthly, going on junior year. (Does this mean I’m 16 again? Will they let me drive the aging company Prius?) After all that I’ve seen here, the real learning, the real fun, the real growth is still ahead of us. And I’m excited to show you what we have planned.


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