Meet FMA Board Member Jennifer Hunt Murty
Publisher, Magnolia Media Company, LLC
FMA Member Since 2019
Magazine: Ocala Style Magazine
Circulation: Print 10,000, Digital 12,000
Target Audience: Marion County residents
Tell us about your publishing background.
I started in publishing as a second career in 2018 when I purchased an established 20-year-old magazine, Ocala Style, from its founder. I launched a daily digital and weekly print newspaper in July 2020. Prior to my career in publishing, I was a paralegal for 22 years.
Tell us about Ocala Style Magazine. What is your vision for the magazine over the next five years?
It’s simple, really: produce the highest quality journalism, photography, and illustration for my community as I can. The focus is hyper-local, and I want us to be as authentic about it as we can.
I don’t see the magazine as just a business. It is a platform that belongs to my community, a depository for their stories and for connecting to each other. In the next five years, I hope to maintain our quality standards while significantly increasing the magazine’s digital traffic.
What are the biggest challenges the magazine is currently facing?
In my market, I have significant competition for advertising dollars as there are many print magazines to choose from. I’ve got the most talented publishing team locally — but that comes with a price tag. It makes it hard for us to compete with other publications that publish very little original content and offer lower advertising costs.
What are the biggest challenges facing Florida magazine publishers in general?
The unfounded notion that print is “dead” certainly impacts our success with some media buyers. When it comes to community publishers, specifically, our audiences are growing because we are producing content readers can’t find anywhere else. I think we probably all need to work on telling that story better.
What are the biggest opportunities for the magazine industry?
Publishers have the opportunity to leverage the trust and credibility that come with our brands to dip our toes in other media platforms.
Why did you decide to join the FMA Board?
I joined to learn from the best and share my challenges and perspective as a newer publisher.
Tell us a little about you. What do you like to do when you’re not working?
This question stings a little because, if I’m being honest, I work almost every day. But I tell myself this is just a season of life, and it will pass. What I do have time to fit into this chaotic life is eating really good food, drinking good wine, and having really good conversations with interesting people. I have been fortunate in life to find really good friends — and their company fuels me. I don’t have children, but I get the honor of being an aunt. For me, life without a dog would be a miserable existence. Finally, I love appreciating art and hope to get back to traveling and scuba diving soon.