Most consider longtime editor Charley Monagan the “heart” of Connecticut Magazine, the state’s premiere monthly periodical, the one that set the bar when it comes to comprehensive reader polls, restaurant reviews, state celebrity and business profiles and the intimate look inside the state and its lifestyle.
Monagan will be leaving his job in March, the victim of an administrative downsizing by the magazine’s owner, the Journal Register Co. (JRC) His position has been eliminated and taking his place will be the Register’s Connecticut Group editor, Matt DeRienzo.
“Charlie was very knowledgeable,” said DeRienzo characterizing Monagan as ”the voice of the magazine.” “But we have a new vision and are pooling our resources, online, newspapers and magazines, looking to have less administration and more front line reporters, ” he said, noting the company is also looking to expand the statewide magazine’s on-line presence.
The 42-year-old Connecticut Magazine was purchased by the Journal Register in 1999. Monagan served as editor from 1978 to 1980 and then returned in 1989.
“It’s too early for the post-mortem” quipped Monagan, when contacted about the magazine staffing change. Monagan, who has written several books including “Connecticut Icons,” ”The Reluctant Naturalist” and “The Neurotics Handbook, said he has some plans. “I’d like to continue editing and writing,” he said, “and maybe write another book,” he said. “But I still have five weeks here.”
The Journal Register owns daily and weekly newspapers, and other print media properties and newspaper-affiliated local websites in several states including Connecticut. Newspaper properties include The New Haven Register and The Middletown Press. Its parent company, Digital First Media, filed for bankruptcy protection five months ago.
Besides Connecticut Magazine, Monagan is also the editor of Connecticut Bride, also a JRC property that becomes part of DeRienzo’s duties.
DeRienzo estimated paid circulation of Connecticut Magazine at about 88,000. He said no other magazine staff positions are being eliminated.
“There will be no cutbacks in the news in the magazine,” he said about future plans for monthly publication. “There will still be all the features that contributed to the magazine’s success.”