David Schimke, editor in chief, 612-338-5040 ext. 325,
Lynsay Montour, public relations specialist, 785-274-4441, 

Utne Reader Celebrates 25 Years
Publication enriches design, raises subscription price with anniversary issue

MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 19, 2009) – For a quarter-century, progressive thinkers have counted on Utne Reader to report on off-the-radar political and cultural news; identify emerging trends, and find the next big idea. The magazine marks its 25th anniversary by implementing a new business model, upgrading paper quality, expanding the magazine and launching a new design with its September-October issue. The issue goes on sale Aug. 25.

“We’re asking those who value quality journalism to support it. We need to get out of the mindset that news and information should be free in every medium – especially among the independent media where the advertising dollar can be hard to come by,” said Bryan Welch, publisher and editorial director of Utne Reader.

In a vanguard move, the magazine will raise its one-year subscription rates from $19.97 to $29.95 for subscriptions paid at the time of order, and to $36 for billed subscriptions. The newsstand price will increase from $4.99 to $6.99. Subscribers will also have a monthly payment option for $3.

Utne Reader’s fans will get a bigger, thicker magazine and a new, more sophisticated design to go along with the price increase. The magazine will increase its trim size to 8.5 inches by 10 inches, creating space for more stories and to give the magazine more visual punch. In addition, each issue will be printed on higher quality, heavier cover and body stock.

In an effort to promote the missions of the thousands of independent magazines and Web sites from which it reprints, Utne Reader will now feature each title’s cover image and Web site adjacent to stories.

Utne also will be structured to create a closer relationship between its print and Web content. The Utne Reader  Web site is updated several times a day and frequently cited by media such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo.

A Brief History of Utne Reader
Dubbed a Reader’s Digest of the alternative press, Utne Reader had humble beginnings. In 1984, founder Eric Utne harnessed his magazine addiction into a business. In a grassroots effort, he wrote to more than 2,000 publications to spread his idea, and within a year the project transformed into a full-fledged digest, featuring 100-plus pages of underground wit and wisdom gleaned from the independent media.

In an effort to revive the lost art of conversation, Utne Reader almost single-handedly started the Salon Movement of the ‘90s. In early 1995, Utne became one of the first periodicals to annually introduce its readers to a list of then little-known visionaries, including public intellectual Cornel West, Native American activist Winona LaDuke and socially conscious investor Paul Hawken. Utne Reader revived the feature in 2008 when it named “50 Visionaries Who Will Change Your World.”

Ogden Publications, publisher of titles including Mother Earth News, Natural Home and The Herb Companion, purchased Utne Reader in June 2006 from Nina Utne.

After a hiatus from the magazine, Eric Utne returned in 2008 with a regular column. The editorial staff continues to champion the most deserving titles in their library by naming the annual Utne Independent Press Awards, a 20-year tradition.

Just as they did in the beginning, the editors at Utne Reader filter through more than 1,500 books and periodicals a month to find a diverse set of voices often left out of mainstream coverage.

About Utne Reader
Since 1984, Utne Reader ( has been the vanguard of the alternative press, celebrating independent news and views from across the political spectrum. With ideas, trends and solutions you won’t see in the mainstream media for months or even years, those who want to know what’s happening next, read Utne Reader first.

About Ogden Publications Inc. 
Ogden Publications Inc. ( is the leading information resource serving the sustainable living, rural lifestyle, farm memorabilia and classic motorcycle communities. Key brands include Mother Earth News, Natural Home, Utne Reader, Capper’s and Grit. Ogden Publications also provides insurance and financial services through its Capper’s Insurance Service division.

Interviews with Publisher Bryan Welch, Editor-in-Chief David Schimke and Founder Eric Utne are available by request.    

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