New Jersey Monthly Still Impacting Readers 40 Years Later

Steve Adubato sits down with the Editor of New Jersey Monthly, Ken Schlager, to talk about the magazine’s 40th anniversary and the impact it has had on New Jerseyans of all ages.

3/27/17 #2023






"Welcome to One on One. I'm Steve Adubato. It is my honor, my pleasure, to have my editor... see you didn't think that introduction was gonna be... my editor, New Jersey Monthly, Ken Schlager. It is the 40th anniversary of this extraordinary publication. How you doing? I'm doing good. The publication's doing great. I guess I'm doing great also. You are. Yeah. And by the way, I write a monthly column for this great publication. That is why you are my editor. We will not talk about our back and forth. And by the way, you teach people all the time, how to be the best writers they can be. But this publication, I have to ask you, 40 years, started... when? How? Why? Well first issue is November, 1976. The bicentennial year. Started up by a couple guys from Princeton. They weren't from Princeton. One was from North Carolina originally, and one was from Virginia. But they were roommates at Princeton, and while in school, they got into journalism, and they got out of school looking for a business to start, and this was a time in the 70's when New York Magazine was humming along. It was a hot thing to do. New Jersey didn't have its own magazine. So they came up with this idea to start New Jersey Monthly. Yeah. We're showing the first initial cover. We have the initial cover, let's put it up there. Let's make sure we do. There it... oh jeez. That's it? That's it. The init... yeah. It wasn't a great cover I don't think. But it was a great story. It was a story about a kid in Jersey City whose family felt that he wasn't getting a proper education. They sued over this. And that there wasn't... the funding for the urban schools was good enough. Right. Like the suburban schools. They won, and that started a whole cycle towards the famous Abbott ruling. That's right. The need for a tax, an income tax, in New Jersey. That's right. To achieve educational equity. Yeah. Yeah. Right. It's so interesting... and in terms of content, and you and I talk about this, literally, every month. I write a lot about public policy and issues, but the publication itself overall, you would not call it a political publication? Oh it's more of a lifestyle publication. Yeah. We try to tell people, you know, great stuff to do in New Jersey. You know, great dining, events, places to go. But we also, as you know, try to cover some key issues, put perspective on some key issues. We're not a daily newspaper. That's right. We're not a... we don't have a daily news operation. We try to stay in our wheelhouse..."