Santa Fean magazine, silent since February, quietly returned to distribution stands in August with a new owner, new look, new feel and new staff, and another issue is coming out the first week of October.
Kelly and Martin Haug acquired the Santa Fean and the Essential Guide in May, and now publish both publications with the slightly expanded Essential Guide staff.
Bella Media president and then-Santa Fean publisher Bruce Adams abruptly dismissed all Santa Fean staff before Thanksgiving, saying the publication was “in transition,” but the December/January edition was his last. At the same time, Trish and Chip Byrd were looking to sell the Essential Guide, which they had owned for 14 years.
Kelly Haug doesn’t recall which publication she pursued first, but she knows she reached out to Adams soon after reading about the transition at the Santa Fean.
“I pretty much stumbled on both of them,” she said. “I pretty much reached out to them at the same time.”
Kelly Haug is publisher of both publications, Martin Haug does everything at Green Coyote Shipping, and both operate Santa Fe Print & Images — they acquired the latter two businesses in January. Kelly Haug devotes her afternoons to doing sales for all of the above and puts in a couple of hours in the morning at the print shop.
All of it adds up to one thing for Kelly Haug, who grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania, helping bale hay.
“I don’t see it as being a serial entrepreneur,” she said. “I just see it as an ability to help the community in more than one way.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping, stopping and helping someone with a broken-down car or giving someone $20 for gas to get to work,” she said. “I’ve always been there when people needed help. … I made the conscious decision to close on the acquisitions during a pandemic because I see it as an opportunity to help the community.”
In the background, they still have Enchantment Energy, the Denver land service company that had been their primary pursuit from 2013 until the end of last year when business dried up. They started Enchantment Energy in Santa Fe, saw better opportunities in Utah and then Denver, but tired of the big-city dynamic and returned to Santa Fe in 2018.
The Santa Fean and the Essential Guide are Kelly Haug’s primary job now. Substantial growth plans are in place for both. She said subscriptions to the Santa Fean have grown to 4,500 since she took over and 20,000 copies get printed.
“I would like to get our subscriptions to double by the end of the year, if not sooner,” Kelly Haug said. “Our website launch is at the end of September. … I suspect we will print twice as many copies as we are currently printing by the first quarter of 2021.”
Kelly Haug plans to have the magazine for sale at supermarkets and retailers that carry magazines in Santa Fe, across New Mexico and in other states.
No matter how large circulation becomes, she intends to keep 15,000 copies for free distribution at stands across town.
“We are working with a distribution group anticipating to be in several bookstore and retail chains in the Southwest region,” Kelly Haug said.
The Haugs acquired the Essential Guide publications the Byrds had in Santa Fe-Taos-Albuquerque; Napa-Sonoma-Marin, Calif.; Tacoma-Spokane-Walla Walla, Wash.; and Charleston, S.C.-Savannah, Ga. Only the Santa Fe-area guide currently is in print, publishing each May.
Kelly Haug intends to revive the Washington and South Carolina/Georgia editions in the next few years. Another publisher has the license for the Bay Area edition.
She plans to expand the Essential Guide to other “boutique cities,” which she declined to name.
“Research suggests we expand into those areas,” she said.
The Essential Guide is what the title describes: a guide for tourists and newcomers to town as well as locals with details about shopping, galleries, outdoor activities, events and other aspects of living in the area.
The Santa Fean continues to tell the story of Santa Fe as it has for 48 years.
“I want to show the Santa Fe community that Santa Fe is strong and resilient,” Kelly Haug said. “It’s still here and it’s not going anywhere. Ultimately, the format of [the magazine] represents Santa Fe, the community, and the uniqueness of Santa Fe has never changed.”
Publishing is a new pursuit for Kelly Haug, who has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science as well as a law degree, and she was CEO at Enchantment Energy for seven years. For four months at the end of last year, she worked in the renewable energy division of the New Mexico State Land Office “while determining what I wanted to do with my life.”
What she wanted to do was serve the community. The Santa Fean and the Essential Guide fit her bill.
“This meets my wants, needs and desires,” Kelly Haug said. “I really wanted to be part of the community, the arts, culture, architecture. I wanted to be part of the dining scene. I wanted to help people less fortunate than myself. I wanted to help people rise and shine.”
Publishing is a unique pursuit, and Kelly Haug said she’s up to the challenge of being a magazine publisher.
“I have managed many people, dealt with deadline priorities,” she said. “I’m really great at project management [and] risk involving moving parts doesn’t bother me. I like problem solving.”