Producing a weekly magazine for 25 years — creating a mind-boggling 1,250 issues — has been an amazing journey. It’s a milestone of sorts that has not come easily, but the joys outweigh the challenges. It has been — and continues to be — the most satisfying, meaningful thing I’ve done in my own life, and I feel absolutely blessed to be able to serve the Washington, D.C. LGBTQ community and beyond.
I am indebted to the hard-working people who, over the years, have contributed in ways both large and small to Metro Weekly‘s ongoing, steady growth. Each week, as our editorial cycle starts anew, it is a company-wide goal to create a magazine that engages, excites, illuminates, touches the hearts, and enhances the lives of our readers. The core philosophy has always been this: if we are requesting your time to read us, then we are going to make it worth your while.
People often ask me to describe Metro Weekly — what is our mission statement? Honestly, in all these years, I’ve never written one, partly out of laziness, but also in part because I don’t want to be confined. I enjoy watching the magazine expand, evolve, and grow organically. I enjoy watching it find its identity, like any good LGBTQ entity — recent examples being our magnificent portraiture issues and our community forums, the depth of which truly astonishes me (it’s no surprise that LGBTQ people in Washington have something to say, and they say it with a high degree of literacy).
In Doug Rule’s magnificent cover interview with NBC4’s Wendy Rieger this week — a neat coincidence, as the very first issue of Metro Weekly also featured a straight woman as its cover story — the local TV legend notes that she despises a dumbed down approach to reporting, the way they often teach in journalism school. Well, we’re with her.
We’ve had a lot of talented people pass through these doors over the years — there’s a list thanking them all on page 62 — but for now, gratitude must go to those who have put so much effort into the past few years, helping Metro Weekly and its website metroweekly.com reach dazzling new heights. Some have been with us literally for decades — contributing editor Doug Rule, Scene photographer Ward Morrison, theater critic Kate Wingfield, webmaster David Uy — while others are newer and have brought their own ideas, talents, and personalities into the mix — online editor Rhuaridh Marr, senior editor John Riley, contributing editor André Hereford, music critic Sean Maunier, photographer Julian Vankim. All work hard every week to make sure the magazine you hold in your hand — or read online — is the best it can possibly be.
And then there’s Todd. Todd Franson began photographing for us in 1995, and has been attached ever since. I don’t know where we would be without his extraordinary gift for portraiture, his eye for clean, clear, vibrant design, and for his willingness (and willfulness) to push the magazine into bold new directions. Metro Weekly is something Todd Franson has poured his absolute heart and soul into for 24 years, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I also must pay special gratitude to our advertisers, past and present (many have been with us over two decades). As a free print publication that relies on the support of advertising, it is their weekly trust in us to create a high-quality product, one worthy of their presence, that keeps Metro Weekly alive and thriving. They deserve your patronage.
The print industry has changed in 25 years, and we have trained our focus online as much as on print. But, to my mind, nothing will replace the tangible experience you hold in your hands now. That said, for the digitally inclined among you, we now have an online edition that fully replicates the print experience and enhances upon it with links! Subscribe to it for free at Issuu.com/metroweekly.
I have written about this magazine’s history many times before, and with this 25th Anniversary Issue, I made a purposeful decision not to create another retrospective, as we did five years ago. While its past is important to commemorate from a historical perspective, these days I’m more interested in where the magazine goes from here. So… what do the next 25 years hold in store for Metro Weekly? Let’s find out together.
Thank you for reading us.
Editor & Publisher