Six years later with four publications in regular circulation, New South Media is continuing to pursue its original goals as it grows in size and reach.
Under Bowman’s leadership, the company recently expanded to a second office in Charleston and hired three employees to support the site. With the help of the Charleston Area Alliance’s small business incubator program, New South Media was able to locate its second office in the Alliance’s convenient and affordable office building located just minutes away from the State Capitol.
Christa Hamra, New South Media advertising specialist, said the February 2014 expansion occurred in conjunction with the company’s launch of “WV Focus,” a publication dedicated to covering news in business and government across the state.
The small start-up, now with 14 employees, is headquartered in Morgantown and regularly publishes “WV Living,” “WV Weddings,” “WV Focus” and “Morgantown Magazine.”
“We’ve got a lot of things going on all of the time,” Hamra said.
In addition to its regular publications, New South Media works with various groups across the state to produce specialty, travel and/or trade magazines.
Shay Maunz, a New South Media staff writer based in Charleston, said she was originally hired to cover government and business news for “Focus,” but thanks to the company’s diverse publications, she’s been able to cover a wide variety of stories for all publications.
“I really, really like my job,” Maunz said. “It’s exactly the kind of work that I want to be doing now in my career. I really do think that what we work on matters.”
From showcasing beautiful weddings held in West Virginia’s picturesque mountain landscape, highlighting a neat coffee shop making waves in Tucker County and covering the January water crisis, New South Media’s publications cover a range of stories across the Mountain State.
Amanda Eskew, New South Media advertising specialist, is the third member of the Charleston team. Always a fan of the magazines, Eskew said a copy of “WV Living” could always be found lying around her house and when the new position was listed in Charleston, she jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s a blessing. It’s kind of like a dream come true to be a part of it,” Eskew said.
Hamra, Maunz and Eskew are all West Virginia natives and agree that it’s a great place to work and live.
“The beauty that we have here and the people that we have here, you can’t beat,” Hamra said.
The team agreed that part of New South Media’s aim is to find unique, creative ways to showcase West Virginia’s beauty and its people.
“The goal of all of our magazines is to build a better state from the inside out. So we have to change perceptions of West Virginians and change perceptions of those outside the state, as well,” Hamra said. “We have a lot of subscribers who are from West Virginia, but have moved outside of the state and ‘WV Living’ is how they keep in touch with what’s happening here.”
The Charleston team said its new location will put them much closer to following political events during the legislative session as well as events happening across southern West Virginia. Also, locating in the incubator kept their costs for their expansion manageable.
“I’m thrilled that I have an office space to go to that is so convenient,” Hamra said. “The Alliance takes great care of the building. Anything you need, you just ask and it’s taken care of. It’s quiet, but there’s always people around. Everybody knows where you are. All you have to do is say that I’m in the Alliance building. The visibility of being in this building is a perk.”
Hamra said the Alliance’s incubator program really allows small businesses to put their best foot forward by supplying the materials and professional space they need.
Since 1986, the Charleston Area Alliance has supported local entrepreneurs and small start-ups in the Kanawha Valley region by providing affordable office and warehouse work locations, along with the guidance, consulting and office amenities needed to ensure success.
Click HERE to learn more about the program.
Check out New South Media’s coverage across the Mountain State by visiting www.wvliving.com.