Santa Fe-based Bella Media LLC and its flagship publication, the Santa Fean, remain in flux following layoffs last week, and it’s unclear when the next edition of the nearly half-century-old, bimonthly magazine might be published.
Associate publisher and sales manager David Wilkinson said nearly all employees of Bella Media’s multiple magazines were given layoff notices the day before Thanksgiving. Wilkinson did not know his own status at Bella Media, he added, because he had just returned Friday from a trip to Italy.
Publications of future editions have been put on hold, he said.
Bella Media President and Santa Fean publisher Bruce Adams declined to give details on the company’s future.
“We’re going through a transition,” Adams said. “I don’t want to say any more that.”
Tierra Concepts Inc., which owns the office space Bella Media has been leasing at the Pacheco Park business complex on Pacheco Street, is searching for a new tenant, according to marketing director Saguna Severson.
“It’s all very premature,” said Severson said. “Bella Media tells us, ‘If you find someone for that space, we were thinking of going to a virtual office space.’ ”
Bella Media was established as a limited liability corporation in 2011 with Adams as the registered agent. Back issues of the Santa Fean — an arts, culture and lifestyle magazine that has showcased the city for 47 years — are available online back to 2009, about the time Adams took ownership of it.
According to a business profile on the online database Buzzfile, Bella Media has generated more than $700,000 a year in revenues and employed about seven people.
The company also publishes the Santa Fe Official Visitors Guide; three regional editions of SuCasa magazine — for Northern New Mexico, El Paso and southwestern New Mexico, and Phoenix/Scottsdale; Native Arts magazine; Santa Fean Now; Haciendas magazine; Canyon Road magazine; Santa Fean’s Downtown magazine; the Home Building and Remodeling Guide; O’Keeffe magazine; and Tracks magazine.
The future of those publications also is uncertain.
Chef John Vollertson, commonly known as Johnny Vee, who has been the food and dining editor at the Santa Fean on a freelance basis, said he was unaware of the employee layoffs at Bella Media.
But he did receive notice that publication of the next edition had been stalled.
“This week we were going to talk about what the next issue is about,” Vollertson said. “I got a note last Friday to hold off on what the next issue is about. This would be the February-March issue.”
Wilkinson, who also has worked for Bella Media on a freelance basis, said, “Right now, there are no magazines planned for 2020. I’m sending emails to my [advertising] clients that I have nothing to sell for next year.”
Wilkinson also said he has filed a wage theft complaint against Bella Media with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, claiming he has received only partial payments from the company for the past three years.