New magazines hit the shelves all the time. Some make it. Many don’t.
Take George, for instance. Co-founded by John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1995, it focused on the intersection of celebrity, media and politics.
Its first cover featured Cindy Crawford dressed as George Washington — that is, if George Washington wore a crop top. George’s list of contributors included George Clooney, Kellyanne Conway, Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh, Norman Mailer and Chris Matthews.
The magazine failed in 2001, two years after Kennedy’s death in a plane crash.
Launched as a feminist alternative to Seventeen and YM, Sassy lasted from 1988 to 1996. Radar, a celebrity gossip magazine, failed repeatedly between 2003 and 2008, finally becoming Radar Online.
But Yakima Magazine defied the odds. This month, it turns 10.
Robin Salts Beckett, niche products manager at the Yakima Herald-Republic for many years, launched the publication. But that doesn’t give her enough credit; it was her vision, passion, and talent that led to the creation of Yakima Magazine and sustained it for its first six years.
With its glossy format, elegant design, catchy headlines and stylish writing, it attracted immediate praise. Quite simply, it didn’t look like a magazine produced in Yakima.
“We are the first publication dedicated to Yakima Valley living,” wrote coordinator Heather Caro. “We will bring you original stories about local homes and gardens, entertaining, day trips within the Valley and regional travel for weekend getaways. We will bring you the finest local food and wine as well as some of the area’s best-kept secrets.”
The cover promoted stories on the Bon Appetit Dinner Club, the Coeur d’Alene Resort, and Thanksgiving in wine country. And if that wasn’t enough, it also promised “A Peek Inside John Gasperetti’s New House.”
Chad Bremerman shot several photos for that issue and Melissa Labberton profiled the Gasperetti house. They’ve been contributors ever since, joined over the years by a number of equally talented freelance photographers and writers.
Yakima Magazine started as a bimonthly publication, gradually expanding to a monthly in 2019. Other things changed, too.
Special Publications Editor Bridget Turrell now puts out the magazine as part of the Herald newsroom. She plans each edition, lines up the contributors, edits their work and contributes reviews and features. Roger Zaragoza, the Herald’s ad services director, designs the publication. Together, they produce a stylish magazine that looks as if it originates in a much bigger market.
But it doesn’t. It’s by people who live in the Valley, for people who live in the Valley.
Here’s to the next 10 years of Yakima Magazine.
Reach Greg Halling at