I am often looking at articles on other local sites to stay on top of things happening in the Dayton Region, and a few weeks ago I came across an Examiner.com article in which the author mentioned writing for a new weekly paper that was about to launch in Dayton – Telephone Weekly. What was this? I hadn’t heard about it, and this is something that I should have heard about – was I slipping? I followed the link to this brand new website and looked at the Contributors page to see who was behind it. Brian Johnson – hmm, I had heard that name before but wasn’t sure if I had ever met him. There wasn’t much info to go by, but it didn’t take long for me to find a friend who did know Brian (this being a small city, most of us are only one Kevin Bacon-degree away from each other). Soon, Lisa Grigsby and I were having coffee with Brian and his partner/editor Kerry D. Brown at our favorite coffee shop (and unofficial DMM headquarters) Ghostlight Coffee, and we heard all about this new venture. Soon, we were talking about collaborating together. But before I get to that, let me share more about the founders of Telephone Weekly and what their new paper is all about.
Brian Johnson had been helping small businesses, including doing screen-printing sales with Four Ambition and doing advertising and branding sales with Clay+Stan. Kerry D. Brown had done sales and even worked at a homeless shelter before fate connected these two entrepreneurs, and after a lot of convincing from Brian they decided to launch their idea for a new free weekly paper: Telephone Weekly.
Dayton Most Metro: Welcome to the local Dayton media world, guys! We’re excited to be collaborating with you, and we’re looking forward to helping introduce you and Telephone Weekly to our readers. What is Telephone Weekly and what inspired you to start it?
Kerry Brown: A lot of different things, really. As far as what is Telephone – it is an independent free print weekly. A lot of cities have one or more, and we thought Dayton could use another. We wanted to put our take out there on what a free weekly could be.
Brian Johnson: We wanted a new voice in the Dayton area – something more interactive, more for the people. Another option… we were tired of reading the same things week in and week out with no options, while seeing other print medias dying off.
DMM: What can people expect when they pick it up and begin to read it?
KB: A lot of fun, interactivity… a lot of great images. We were inspired a bit by a magazine called Mental Floss – a mash-up of all kinds of things like science, art and humor. I believe we’re going to do a lot of that. A focus on the local DIY culture. And all locally created content – as in nothing syndicated.
BJ: Heavy on solid design, solid well-written content and a focus on local businesses.
DMM: Telephone Weekly is an interesting name – how did you choose it?
BJ: The name Telephone Weekly came from that old game “telephone” that people would play where somebody whispers something to somebody else, and that person repeats it to another, and so on. We’re building on that idea, where people will read something and talk to others about it. We also want it to be a two-way conversation.
KB: Our friend Bryan Brady actually came up with the name Telephone after we all brainstormed ideas, wanting a word that people don’t use anymore. We like the juxtaposition of telephone and magazine, two things that don’t normally go together.
DMM: Where will people be able to find Telephone Weekly?
BJ: People can find it in places like coffee shops, college campuses, restaurants, museums, etc. Our reach is Troy to the north, Springboro to the south, Springfield to the east and many places just west of Dayton.
So now that you know the story behind Telephone Weekly, look for it next time you’re out – and be sure to pick it up (and check out their website and Facebook page)! As for the collaboration between Telephone Weekly and Dayton Most Metro…
(from the writers at Telephone Weekly)
When Brian and Kerry set out to develop the Dayton’s new independent weekly magazine they knew that providing information about all of the things to do in and around Dayton was going to be an important aspect of the magazine. It turns out that fate had another idea.
What Brian and Kerry had not yet realized was the overwhelming amount of information that would need to be gathered, formatted, checked for accuracy and ultimately published in order to be a source of information on local events. An entire publication could be filled with listings of community organizations, meetings, art events, restaurants, music, theatre, film, active lifestyles; the list goes on-and-on. After thinking on the issue they eventually remembered this little thing called the Internet. Kerry explains “ We were like; why, in-the-name-of-all-that-is-holy, would people turn to a weekly print publication to find out what was going down in their hometown when they could immediately look it up on one of the multiple electronic devices surrounding them?” Why indeed. Someone else was already doing this and doing it better, in a format better suited to it. It was at that point Brian and Kerry formulated their simple solution. Kerry describes the basic thought process behind it “We thought, let’s just pick a few cool events each week, events we think will connect with our readers and that fits with what Telephone is and leave the comprehensive listings to those that are already on it; why be redundant?”
That settled the issue for the time being. Kerry continues “It was like, a couple of weeks later when Brian called me saying that Bill Pote from Dayton Most Metro contacted him and that Bill had hinted at the idea of us working together. We were both, like ‘This is awesome dude!’ They are easily the biggest and best online, local events site there is!”
Jazzed for their meeting with Bill, the two conspired to present the most professional sounding proposal they could. Each knew that it would be great for Telephone to develop a relationship with Dayton Most Metro; having access to such a comprehensive events listing would save them a huge amount time, provide a source from which to curate Telephone’s event listings and avoid the annoying redundancy of pages of printed events listings. Not to mention an initial legitimizing force for the magazine.
But what of Dayton Most Metro; what was in it for them? Kerry explains their thoughts on this “We figured it was basically just a big weekly ad for Dayton Most Metro. We would post our listings and if people weren’t into what they were seeing or just wanted to know more about what was going on . . . Well, go online and check out Dayton Most Metro. Guaranteed you’ll find something there that you like.
So here we are Dayton’s freshest independent free weekly; Telephone Magazine and the most widely used online resource for information on what’s going down in your hometown, Dayton Most Metro, making sweet, sweet music together.
Look for the Dayton Most Metro page in Telephone Weekly where you can see a few featured upcoming events, and check out the DMM Event Calendar here to see 3,000 more!