FROM PUBLISHERS PAST: A FEW LETTERS FROM THOSE WHO SET OUR FOUNDATION

Jul 1 • EXTRA! EXTRA!, Feature, FEATURE MAINNo Comments on FROM PUBLISHERS PAST: A FEW LETTERS FROM THOSE WHO SET OUR FOUNDATION

Encore, otra repetición. Webster’s defines it as more, wanting more. Its origin dates back to 1712, but that’s simply the French word for “encore” of course.  Who uses the dictionary anymore anyhow?

Happy birthday, encore! I congratulate you for publishing over 1,500 editions of arts and entertainment coverage over a 30-year span.  It’s hard to believe that many moons ago editor Kevin Cox and I made the weekly trek to The Sampson Independent in Clinton to work with their old “cut and paste” composing room—proofreading copy and working with color overlays until plates were burned and the presses running. 

Our work day began at 7 a.m., meeting at our Market Street office and later the basement of the Elk’s Temple Building, to make the hour-long drive to Sampson County; an hour filled by tossing around story ideas, advertising suggestions, and other signature “hip” stuff. We returned always weary around 8 p.m. on a good day, laden with 15,000 copies to be distributed throughout the Lower Cape Fear. 

We had to have a passion for it or we wouldn’t have the stamina to keep pace week after week.  Please, don’t assume it was just the two of us working, though—not at all. We had some of the coolest writers, ad salespeople and office help in the area. Creative minds having fun! Oh, and we had such fun…interviewing local artists, reviewing the latest bands, and bringing our rich cultural heritage into the spotlight.  Wilmington’s arts scene was an infant itself in those days with the film studios just arriving and broadening our community’s creative scope. Needless to say, times have changed with desktop publishing; page layouts are but a click away and news copy lightning-fast. Just this morning (being the quintessential dinosaur) I discovered the encore Go app—oh my! Who would have ever thought?

 Happy 30th birthday, baby! Now you’re all grown up!  Such polish, such style!  You’re everything I dreamed you’d become and more—much, much more!

Nixie Nunnelee Peak

Publisher and Founder, 1985-1990.

Wow! 30 years old!  Encore’s now a grown-up (so to speak)!  Encore only achieved this distinction thanks to the vision and courage of Nixie Nunnelee who took a little seed money, a lot of time and determination, and a healthy dose of love and care to launch our favorite Wilmington publication. 

Praise also to Wade Wilson who kept the love alive, only missing one publication date in almost 15 years (thanks Hurricane Fran!).  

Now to Shea Carver who demonstrates everyday the same love for the advertisers, community leaders and readers, through her determination to provide a quality arts and entertainment publication 52 weeks every year.

I loved my time at encore—the staff, the fun we had, the lessons we learned—all part of the Encore history, and mine, as well. 

I’m so proud!

Rosalind Barker

Publisher, 1990-1993

bathing suit

LADIES MAN: Wade Wilson’s son, Spencer, takes center stage during an encore swimsuit shoot in the ‘90s. Photo courtesy of Wade Wilson

I was the owner of encore from 1993 until 2004, and then I stayed on as publisher for two years after selling it to Wilmington Media. I have many great memories of those 13 years.  I feel fortunate to have been at the helm during dramatic technological change in the industry.  In the early days, we used a hot waxer to glue scraps of paper onto the page for the printer. By the time I left we were emailing the entire magazine to the printer. I think our ad deadline went from four days before press to four hours before press. We went from not having a fax to having email, and then a website. I’ll never forget how tech savvy we felt when we came up with the idea to have a cover with people reading encore, and the encore they were reading had them reading encore…

Wilmington also went through quite a bit of growth and change over that 13 years, and it was fun to be a part of it all. For the first 10 years of my reign we were located downtown, and it was an amazing and vibrant place to work. The arts and business community exploded during that time, and it was amazing to witness.

Having a weekly deadline for that long really puts your life on a schedule, but it also creates a cycle of completion. It was always satisfying to get the finished project in hand. During those 13 years, we only missed one deadline, and that was during Hurricane Fran, when the conditions made it impossible to deliver papers.

I met and established friendships with a lot of people in the business and arts community. Yet, the best relationships were with the people I worked with: the editors, sales people, distributors, graphic design people, freelance writers, even interns.

I have a ton of great memories. Over my tenure we started and published several other specialty magazines, from kids to seniors, for UNCW and even the film industry. We organized a boat show, a film contest, fiction contests, and an annual charity fundraiser that raised over $50,000. We sponsored and promoted hundreds of events. One of my editors, Amanda Kraus, talked me into starting the Best Of Party in the early 2000s, which became a huge success. 

I managed to get my kids on the cover a half dozen times. Once when we were working on a late deadline and we decided to have a few beers while finishing up. Someone got the bright idea to set the cover up sideways, which seemed less viable in the light of day.

I am most proud of the fact that I hired two interns from UNCW many years ago—Shea Carver and John Hitt.  These two eventually became employees and now they run the company. They have done a fantastic job of continuing the tradition of a great magazine.

Wade Wilson

Publisher, 1993-2006

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