From the Publisher

A New Journey Begins

By Brian Rowland, Publisher

In the world of business, it is said that if your company is not growing, then it is definitely moving backward.

For the past four years, I have been researching and studying the viability of publishing a regional business magazine for Northwest Florida. I had my finger on the trigger to launch the publication twice, but a couple of hurricanes and then an economy that began to soften got me to put the safety latch back on and get it holstered.

For the past five months, I have been engaged in a series of more than 200 desk-side discussions and more than 15 roundtable industry gatherings with business decision-makers between Pensacola and Perry. My goal was to understand the critical issues of the region and determine if there was a need for this 16-county region to have a magazine looking at the big picture of ongoing business – what I call “learning and listening from 30,000 feet.”

The answer that I heard unanimously over and over was that the magazine I was envisioning was a “much-needed resource” and “long overdue.”

So a new journey for Rowland Publishing begins this fall with the debut of 850 – The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida.

Just to stretch that gunslinger metaphor a bit more, I want you to know that Rowland Publishing is not shooting from the hip on this new publication – we’ve taken careful aim at the subject of business. For more than two years, we’ve had a magazine within Emerald Coast magazine (as well as Tallahassee and Bay Life magazines) dedicated to subjects relating to the world of commerce. You might remember the business journal sections we’ve dedicated to real estate sales, tourism and online marketing as well as those focused on the business climate in the sub-regions of the Emerald Coast.

Our efforts were all with a purpose and a strategy.

During this time we’ve created relationships with newsmakers and advertisers that give our company a privileged inside look at the detailed workings of commerce both here and throughout the Panhandle.
Our mission and business model is simple. We will report about business, the people who make it happen, the story behind the stories and the numbers that tell the story. We will be balanced and truthful with what we say, we will cross-pollinate business information in what we have identified as the region’s four “corridors.” Most importantly, we will provide a third-party market validation to a segment of Florida standing at the door of an exponential growth period.

Our circulation model is one of the most expensive but cost-effective means available due to its targeted nature. 850 will be direct-mailed to a pre-qualified target audience of business owners and corporate senior managers in the region. We will have the magazine available on newsstands and to certain strategic partners who have asked for copies to slip into the briefcases of business people boarding planes and heading back north to the big cities of America to strategize their presence in Northwest Florida’s bright future.

A Phase 1 Web site is available for review at and a Phase 2 expanded site will go live later this year.

So sit back and get ready to be informed and challenged with the news and images of business in your sandbox – the 850 region.

P.S. Yes, we did check with the telecommunications industry and the area code 850 is good to describe this region until at least 2013.