Baltimore magazine combines June/July issues, tells stories of people on ‘front lines’ of pandemic

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The covers of Baltimore magazine’s past three issues, including their April “Home-Owners’ Survival Guide.” Image courtesy of Baltimore magazine.

Baltimore magazine will combine its June and July issues for a special issue featuring the stories of people on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The magazine’s president, Michael Teitelbaum, said in a letter to readers that COVID-19 and “the corresponding financial pain it is causing”–including the halt in advertising in the magazine’s pages–contributed to the decision to combine the issues.

The virus has also made it difficult for the magazine’s writers and photographers to access subjects for stories, Teitelbaum said.

As such, the magazine decided to combine the issues to give the coronavirus subject “the time and attention that it deserves,” editor-in chief Max Weiss told Baltimore Fishbowl.

The combined issue will come out at the end of June, when the July issue would have come out, and will not likely be larger than the size of typical issues, Weiss said.

But Weiss said readers can expect to see plenty of positive stories that have risen from the throes of the pandemic.

“From nurses and doctors to grocery workers to ordinary people doing what they can to help their neighbors, we bring you acts of courage and kindness,” Teitelbaum wrote.

Teitelbaum said that the issue will also feature the magazine photographers’ best images of Baltimore, ranging from “eerily beautiful to downright surreal—as our city ground to a halt.”

He added that the magazine will also talk to health experts and economists about what Baltimore may look like in the coming months.

Baltimore magazine staff were working on the April “Home-Owners’ Survival Guide” issue before the full gravity of the coronavirus had hit the United States, and sent it to press about three weeks ago–around the time Maryland was seeing its first confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“It felt like an artifact from another time and place,” Weiss said. “There was no coronavirus on our radar. We had no idea what was going to transpire.”

The magazine’s May issue will go to press this Friday, Teitelbaum said.

Weiss described it as a “‘tweener” that the magazine had one vision for at first, then shifted gears once the coronavirus spread more rapidly and staff started having to work from home.

“This issue is going to half look like what it was going to look like and half look like the new world that we’re living in right now,” she said.

The issue will cover “bold ideas for moving Baltimore forward,” Weiss said.

“It doesn’t really address COVID-19 except for a lot of these problems, if addressed, would make us a leaner, meaner city to address any sort of crisis,” she said.

The combined June/July issue will be the first issue fully crafted amid Gov. Larry Hogan’s stay-at-home order and will reflect how various subjects are overcoming the challenges that this pandemic is posing.

The magazine is “looking for heroes and helpers and the people on the front lines who are really doing inspiring things, really rolling up their sleeves and helping,” Weiss said.

As for the state of the publication itself, Weiss said that Baltimore magazine began publishing in 1907 and, more than a century later, they are here to stay.

“We’re not going anywhere and we look forward to continuing to tell Baltimore’s stories,” she said.

Marcus Dieterle

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