Letter from the Editor
Welcome to Texas Monthly Biz.
“You’re holding in your hands a different kind of magazine…”
It’s impossible to know exactly how many times those words have been uttered by editors introducing the first issue of a new publication, but trust us: We’ve heard them before. You probably have too, and if you’re like us, you no longer believe the hype. So forgive us when we tell you that you’re holding in your hands a different kind of magazine. This time, we really mean it.
Welcome to Texas Monthly Biz, the first truly general-interest business magazine. We take as our premise that there are stories to tell in the world of Texas business that are of interest to everybody, not just the guy who checks his stock prices the first thing in the morning. We think that not just the business audience but the word “business” itself has been too narrowly defined. We think that simply telling your readers what happened but not how and why is pointless in a world with cable channels and Internet sites that offer up-to-the-minute headlines. We think that business journalism doesn’t have to be boring.
So we’ve created a magazine that isn’t boring, one that’s gracefully written, meticulously reported, and elegantly designed (business journalism doesn’t have to be ugly either). One that will cover big companies and small, today’s power players and also tomorrow’s, and an array of topics from politics to publishing, high-tech to higher education—all viewed from the perspective of business. One with style and sass. One that looks forward, not backward.
Most of all, one that aggressively mines the rich vein of material at our feet. Pick up a national publication these days and you’re sure to find a story about business in Texas. One week last fall Texans graced the covers of both Business Week (financier Richard Rainwater) and Forbes (techie Christina Jones)—and that was just a couple of weeks after Fortune named Austin the nation’s best city for business. In January Adweek named Austin’s GSD&M the 1998 Southwest Agency of the Year. About once every few days the comings and goings of Dallas buyout king Tom Hicks are dutifully reported by either the New York Times or the Wall Street Jour-nal—usually both.
The reason for all the interest in Texas—and Texans—is clear. You want superlatives? Our state may soon be home to a corporation with greater revenues than any other in the world, the Exxon-Mobil combine. Two of the nation’s top PC makers, Dell and Compaq, are based here. So are the country’s second-largest airline (Amer-ican), the two companies that own the most radio stations (Chancellor Media and Clear Channel Communications), the two top waste-disposal firms (Waste Management and BFI), the number one organic grocery chain (Whole Foods Markets), the number one online seller of gardening equipment (garden.com), the high-tech company that had one of the most successful stock offerings in Wall Street history (broadcast. com), and an array of household names, including J. C. Penney, Dr Pepper, and Neiman Marcus. And we haven’t even mentioned Herb Kelleher, Red McCombs, or any of our other colorful corporate characters.
Well, we haven’t mentioned them yet. You’ll find stories about Kelleher, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, and McCombs, the auto dealership mogul and Minnesota Vikings owner, on the pages that follow. We hope you like them and everything else in this issue. Please let us know if you do—or don’t—by phone (512-320-6900), fax (512-476-9007), or e-mail ([email protected]).