Two magazines find a home in Prineville

By Rachael Scarborough King / The Bulletin
Published: June 18. 2007 5:00AM PST

The city of Prineville has acquired another signifier of a growing population, as two new publications have set up shop in town.

Prineville, a glossy magazine from Cascades East publishers, and Oregon en español, a Spanish-language monthly owned by a different group, are both in the works. Oregon en español, which is based in Prineville, published its first issue in February, and the first edition of Prineville is expected to appear June 22.

Pamela Hulse Andrews, managing partner and co-publisher for Cascades East, said that Prineville magazine grew out of a Crook County supplement that ran in Cascades East last summer.

“I think that people for the first time are seeing that Prineville really isn’t in another state — it’s part of Central Oregon. It’s really not that far from here,” Andrews said. “It’s kind of a fit for what we do at Cascades East, too, because Cascades East is centered around recreation and adventure, and Prineville is a really good fit for that.”

The magazine’s publishers are planning an initial run of 31,000 copies of Prineville, with 15,000 stand-alone magazines and another 16,000 that will be inserted into the summer issue of Cascades East. Right now, the magazine will be published annually, but Executive Editor Kyla Merwin Cheney said she is hoping to go to a semi-annual or quarterly format within one year.

“It serves as a tourist guide, but it’s more — it’s Prineville’s own lifestyle magazine,” Cheney said. She added that the magazine’s articles will focus on outdoor activities in Crook County, as well as the Crooked River Roundup and local restaurants and other businesses.

Diane Bohle, executive director of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, said that the chamber has endorsed Prineville.

“We looked at it as a high-profile, high-quality lifestyle magazine that would kind of be a cultural ambassador for our community, and we really expect it to do well not only in our community, but in the region and outside the region,” Bohle said. “We see it as piece that would interest our neighbors, visitors and newcomers to the area.”

Prineville will be free and distributed throughout Central Oregon and the rest of the state to local visitor’s centers, Chambers of Commerce, parks and recreation departments, hotels, doctors’ offices and coffee shops.

Similarly, Oregon en español is free of charge — “gratis,” as advertised on the cover — and is placed in local Mexican restaurants and stores, said Efrain Muñoz, the magazine’s co-owner. Muñoz, who lives in Prineville, said he thought there was a need for a Spanish-language publication to serve Central Oregon.

“Right here in Central Oregon, it’s a lot of Hispanic people, and we didn’t find anything in Spanish,” he said. “One of our goals is to help our community here because, you know, everything is in English and a lot of people, Latinos, they can’t understand English.”

The first issue of Oregon en español came out in February, and Muñoz said he and the magazine’s other owner have been working on the project for almost a year. Right now, he said, the magazine is publishing every other month, but the plan is to have a monthly format. So far, the owners have put out 3,000 copies per edition.

Muñoz, who also works in construction, is originally from Mexico and moved to Prineville from Salem a few years ago. He added that the magazine’s other owner is from Uruguay and one of their columnists lives in Argentina.

Although the magazine is published out of Prineville, because that’s where the owners are located, Muñoz said it is intended to serve all of Central Oregon. Articles touch on broad topics such as immigration, finances and technology.

“For the first one everyone was impacted … like, wow, they can’t believe this is free, but by the next one we had an advertising on the radio station, and we explained everything to the people — it’s free, take it,” he said. “In a lot of places they call us and say, ‘Hey, the magazine’s gone in one week,’ so I think it’s going very good.”

Despite the appearance of both magazines at roughly the same time, members of the team behind Prineville said they don’t think there is a big enough market for more glossy publications in the area.

Sales Director Jeff Martin said that he thinks the publishers are “pushing the envelope for Prineville.” The city also has its own bi-weekly newspaper, the Central Oregonian.

“That’s a question you would ask about the entire region or the entire state — how many magazines or how many publications can it handle?” Andrews said. “I know a lot of people from Bend in the last decade that have moved to Prineville because, you know, more open space, quieter town — there’s a lot of appeal out there.”

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