William Randolph Hearst III launching self-funded California magazine this fall

(Credit: Getty Images)

Editor’s note: Will Hearst (AKA WRHIII) is a friend of mine. We’d get together in S.F. when I worked at The Chronicle and CNET (at the Zuni Cafe, for example)  in the ’90s and when he produced a film about foothills’ poet Gary Snyder called “The Practice of the Wild.” in 2010.  (We wrote about the documentary in our Sierra FoodWineArt magazine). I went to the premiere in San Francisco. More details here and here. Now Will is starting a magazine, a self-funded publication called The Journal of Alta California. Will is smart (a Math major from Harvard) and has a real intellectual curiosity about California’s past and present. (No, not “yellow journalism.”) I look forward to the first edition. I subscribed. Details here:

“The Journal of Alta California combines William R. Hearst III’s passions for publishing and the arts into a new publication that is a paean to California. Alta is a vibrant print and online magazine that also will hold a series of events bringing together the best thinkers on California and current issues.

“Alta provides a fresh, smart take on the issues, culture, personalities, politics, lifestyle, culture and history of California, featuring some of the state’s best writers, photographers and illustrators. The magazine’s website, altaonline.com, provides a daily guide to the best writing about the state from Alta and other sources.

“Alta is a celebration and examination of all things about California and its environs: the lifestyle, the history, the people, the environment, the arts, the culture, the politics.

“’Many people have wondered why there is not a literate magazine counterpoint to the New Yorker from a Western point of view,’ said Hearst, whose family has had a legendary place in California journalism for more than 130 years. ‘Alta will fill that gap. Alta will provide literate, interesting coverage of the Golden State, from San Diego and Los Angeles in the Southland to Silicon Valley and San Francisco and the rugged redwood forests of the northern part of the state.’

“Drawing on inspiration from magazines such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, Alta is smart, witty, literary, informative and newsy. Alta is a multimedia entity: a quarterly magazine, a daily website and social media, and a regular series of events featuring talks by interesting people. Above all, Alta treasures great journalism, great storytelling and beautiful images.

“Alta’s partners include the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Bay Area Book Festival, SFFILM, Litquake and others.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

6 thoughts on “William Randolph Hearst III launching self-funded California magazine this fall”

  1. The Patty Hearst kidnapping was one of the most incredible stories of our time.
    The nation was riveted to the evening news for months. (Before 24-hr TV)
    Hearst ultimately overcame that hideous ordeal and became an Indie actress in John Waters films.
    Now that had to be great therapy!
    Good for her for surviving and carrying on.

    1. Of course, you would have been much too young to remember this story.
      How is WRH3 related to Patty Hearst?
      He isn’t listed on her wiki page.
      During her rehabilitation she came to visit my children’s pre-school, a pilot program funded by her family’s foundation.

  2. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Jeff. I have it bookmarked and will be reading more…there were a couple of great stories in this first addition….it goes in my bookmarks next to BOOM: a journal of California, another great California resource.


    1. Steve,
      Nice! This magazine is going to be a good read. Will has brought on Mark Potts for editorial and Roger Black for graphic design. Potts has worked with Will on numerous projects (San Francisco Examiner, @Home Network, San Simeon Press, Kleiner Perkins, etc.), and Roger led redesigns at Hearst’s Esquire magazine, Newsweek, etc. http://rogerblack.com/page/about
      It’s a good team, plus freelancers. Too bad state librarian/author Kevin Starr is no longer with us.

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