Only in Texas

TexMo Rethinks Web Site

Rumors of the demise of Texas Monthly's Web site are exaggerated, but have at least some basis in fact. The monthly recently told its Web staff that changes were afoot with the magazine's Web presence, in hopes of bringing in some profit from the Net, and those changes may or may not involve the continued employment of its four-person Web staff.

"What we're doing is rethinking our presence on the Internet," says deputy editor and editor of special projects Evan Smith. "We'll have a Web site, but it will be different from what we've had. The people we've had were great, smart, and did a great job with limited resources, and they produced a first-class Web site which any magazine would be proud of."

Smith said the problem was that Texas Monthly hadn't figured out how to market the site, and it just wasn't getting enough hits or revenue -- a problem that is hardly unique in the new, uncharted waters of Web publishing. Smith said it's uncertain what changes are in store, but one option could involve a partnership with another Web entity to better market the product.

Smith said that the entire Web staff -- director of new media Lax Gani and editor of new media Jen Scoville (both former Austin Chronicle staffers), designer Nikol Lohr, and editorial assistant Jessica Keyt -- will be encouraged to apply for whatever new positions will be created. Smith also emphasized that the changes were made by Texas Monthly itself, and not by Emmis Publishing, the Indianapolis-based company that purchased the magazine last year from founding publisher Michael Levy.

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