CSU alumnus acquires The New Scene magazine

Julia Trowbridge

man puts magazines into news stand
Blaine Howerton, Colorado State University alumnus and publisher for North Forty News and The New Scene, stocks a news stand with both publications. These publications are two out of four publications in the Northern Colorado area that are over 25 years old. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

After sexual misconduct allegations, previous Scene Magazine owner, Michael Mockler, sold his magazine after 28 years.

The new owner is Colorado State University alumnus Blaine Howerton, who is also the publisher for a local monthly newspaper, North Forty News.

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Mockler is no longer involved with the magazine, and Howerton has re-branded the magazine as The New Scene

Howerton graduated from CSU with a degree in technical journalism 1997. After working in the journalism field, he ended up moving back to Fort Collins with his wife and two kids and began publishing North Forty News. 

“At that period in my life I was looking for something different, but not too out of the box because I knew journalism,” Howerton said. “That was something I had been doing for my entire career and I felt like I needed to do something different, outside TV realm. I started thinking about it, and within three weeks, we were closing the deal.”

North Forty News and Scene Magazine Subscriptions:

Although the monthly publications are free to the public, both publications offer a $39/year subscription where the paper is mailed directly to your residence.

In December 2017, Howerton noticed that Scene Magazine was not printing.  He reached out to Mockler to purchase the magazine.

“I read an article about the previous publisher basically shutting down the print,” Howerton said. “I had all the same feelings that I had when I read about North Forty and those were: That’s sad. It’s sad to see a local publication go away… In both cases, I really saw a publication that needed some love. They just needed someone to get behind it that was really into it and wanted to get something done with them.”

The New Scene includes two new additions. The first is a Northern Colorado top-five listing, with the February edition focusing on dating spots. The second addition is a month-long, comprehensive event calendar. The magazine is also focusing on going local, with the February cover article featuring an 18-year-old artist and her journey with music.

In both cases, I really saw a publication that needed some love. They just needed someone to get behind it that was really into it and wanted to get something done with them.”– Blaine Howerton, publisher for North Forty News and The New Scene.

The Lyric, which stocks The New Scene in its lobby, stopped providing the magazine after the allegations arose. Due to the new publisher, the Lyric has restarted stocking the magazine. Michael Putlack, the General Manager of the Lyric, no longer sees an issue in supporting the magazine because Mockler is no longer involved, he said.

“People like learning about stuff that’s going on around town, and it’s informative,” Putlack said. “Having it is sort of a method to get people into the happenings.”

portrait of Howerton
Blaine Howerton is a Colorado State University alumnus and the publisher for North Forty News and The New Scene. After returning to Fort Collins, Howerton became the publisher for North Forty News half a year ago, and took on The New Scene for its February edition. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

Howerton has dedicated himself to revamping two out of the four Northern Colorado publications that have served the area for over 25 years. Since taking over North Forty News around six months ago, Howerton has put a lot of work into building the paper back up. In the first few months as publisher, he quadrupled the circulation, rebuilt the subscriber program and tripled the content produced, both online and in print, he said.

“I did all of the deliveries for the first three months,” Howerton said. “It got to the point where it was my favorite part of the job because I was actually experiencing  handing someone a newspaper, and they were excited to get it. In some of the more remote areas, it’s the only source of news they get. It was really important to me that, as small as it was, the community continued to receive what it was being given for years.”

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His staff appreciates Howerton’s efforts. Libby James, a North Forty News freelance reporter, has been working for the paper for around 15 years and says Howerton is a pleasure to work with.

“It’s just having new blood,” James said. “Having someone who’s enthusiastic makes a big difference. North Forty News has always had a loyal group of followers, and so all those people who’ve liked North Forty News for a long time are liking it more now. “

Collegian reporter Julia Trowbridge can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on twitter @chapin_jules.