Monday, March 05, 2012

hello darkness my old friend

JK with that header, kind of.

Well, it's true.  MidMo is dead.  I've known for a bit that it was a possibility, ever since Capitol Weekly really suddenly pink slipped everyone and went to online-only.  OMF has been trying to hold things together and shop it around, and there were some good prospects but nothing came through.  So it wasn't from lack of profitability, it was because we lost our infrastructure (ad staff, designer, etc.)  We were actually growing a bit every year, and in the last couple months had gotten a lot of ad interest.  We had just started running Closet Case, which I thought was a great fit for us.

I'm really sad about it.  It's going to be really different for me, since I have been writing about 3 restaurants per month for over five years.  Think about it!  Plus, other features every other month or so, plus doing associate editor work for the last however many months.  I have a lot of free time now, I guess?  I can't wait to start...yarn-bombing?

I'm really sad because I'm going to miss the writing of our contributors.  It is a crying shame if there is no outlet for MH to write about wine, or BB to write about history.  I love the voice of the Sactorialist, this one is my favorite one.  I loved our music and arts coverage, too, and the other food contributors.  I love Tim's art writing, and always wished he had more time to do it.

I think it's a sad day for Sac.  I know it was only a little free weekly, but it really was a unique voice in our community.  Silenced.


i know nothing said...

Was the infrastructure stuff being done for free by the Capital Weekly folks? Is there not enough ad money to higher someone else to do the work?

Anonymous said...

Who owns the articles if Midtown Monthly no longer exists?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear it. It was a cool thing. I even used to read your restaurant reviews knowing since I'm virtually never in Sac that I'd never eat at any of the places.


beckler said...

aw, thanks!

Why would anyone "own" the articles?

Print costs are just too damn high. I don't really know all the business stuff, OMF took pains to keep the writers separate from that so we wouldn't be influenced.

Liv Moe said...

This all just started sinking in for me about two weeks ago when I settled in to write what I realized at the time could be my last piece. I had a hard time concentrating at first as a result. In the end I relaxed and approached it from my usual vantage point i.e. being stoked to have a platform where I can promote the things about this region which are dear to me. That is probably one of the things I will miss most. Getting to work with some of my favorite people every month to produce a resource for our community had a lot going for it too.

I'm glad you took the AD position Becky. I was really excited when Tim suggested it and even more excited that you said yes.

To anonymous the articles belong to the writers who wrote them.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sad to hear about MidMo. However, there is still an outlet for all of those writers, since most of them started out on their own blogs before going into print. Time for a little old-school blogging!


Laura Braden said...

Totally agree - it was a great resource for Sacramento!

I help run Girls on the Grid - a local blog for women who live, work or play on the grid.

We're always looking for writers/contributors (more info here:

If anyone is interested, shoot me a note at

Thanks - and so sorry again!

Anonymous said...

It's sad, a huge loss for Sac. I noticed Saturday when I suggested going to a certain taqueria because I planned on writing about it that I was going to have to adjust my mindset. Weird.

Anyway, I don't know if this is where to talk about it, but it seems to be where we are talking about it, but may I suggest something that Foster will hate (just like in a meeting)? Can we have a funeral, please? It doesn't have to be any time soon, but can we? Can we please?

Anonymous said...

P.S. Important uber-iformative post up on Halloween blog.


Liv Moe said...

Surprisingly, the old man's gears are already turning on this concept. I think we should call it a wake personally.....

Anonymous said...

Whatever! Wakes are more fun anyway. You know you can count me in.


Shannon said...

So sad. Sorry, Becky. :(

Sacramento Punk Shows said...

bummer. maybe the city would be willing to auction off a handful of parking spaces to the highest bidder to keep it afloat.

beckler said...

Yeah, I was thinking we all need to get together. maybe we can burn back issues of MidMo? Perhaps we could even fashion them into some type of "man" and then light him on fire? I'll bring the ecstasy and body glitter!

But yeah, I'm glad that some people, such as Sarah S., have blogs. I think getting paid for writing is more and more becoming kind of an impossible dream.

Anonymous said...

Is it cool if I cut out the "Got Beer?" headline and torch it?


Anonymous said...

Yup, it was a hard decision to make, but it had to happen. The mag actually turned a profit, but once we stopped sharing a designer, sales staff, storage, office, accounting, printing, etc with CW it made everything a little more expensive and a lot more complicated.

And yes, the articles and photos are all owned by the creators- we just have rights to run them in print and online- and isn't going anywhere. I'm not sure how often I'll update, but I'll keep posting stuff there when I can.

Of course I want to have a farewell party with the staff - I just want to figure out what will work best for everyone- either a BBQ or it could be a dinner somewhere.

It was really an honor to publish MM and to work with such an amazing crew for over five years. Becky played a huge role in making MM what it was, a much bigger role than most people ever realized I think. Whenever I started to get complacent she always challenged me to make the magazine better and see what else we could do. she brought in Closet Case and the Sactorialist and tipped me off on several writers who became some of our most frequent contributors.

I barely knew Becky when we started this 5 and a half years ago, but we've gotten very close, and I've learned a lot from working with her. It really has been a privilege all around.


beckler said...

Ha! "Challenged" that's a nice way to say it!

Probably the best thing about MidMo has been getting to know you and Liv better.

A big dinner would be a good idea. That way nobody would have to host. How about Fox and Goose?

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

It's hard enough putting out a regular publication in this economy, especially given how hard it's been for print publications. A 5 year run of unique and well written articles by a good cross section of Sac's best and brightest, especially on topics overlooked by what's left of (arena addled) mainstream media around here is a great achievement. But ya'll will be missed, especially by those of us who are old enough to remember the city's last unique and high quality alternative publication, the Suttertown News.

yolkie said...

What a bummer. The absence of Midmo will be a great loss to me. I loved reading about people and places in the area that I was unaware of. It's easy to feel like we live in a 2nd rate city where nothing is happening, but the truth is we have so many talented people doing exciting things. Midtown Monthly was a constant reminder of this.

I would love to attend a wake. Saddest band ever?

undercover caterer said...

I am bummed. So bummed that I'd like to offer my place for our wake/staff get together. I'd be happy to make food if you all would deal with beer since I can't drink it anymore.

I guess I could write about it on my blog.

Kara said...

Sorry, I know I'm an outsider, but I loved MM. I looked forward to reading it every month, and I read every word of every article, I think, even the food ones although I'm a (horrors!) vegetarian and sometimes you wrote about some nasty organ meat.

Anyway, I especially loved the Bill Burg history pieces, and I often saved them for my mother, who is a history buff.

It's a loss to the town, but it has been a credit to the town, too. Kudos to all of you who made it happen.

MMlove said...

I always looked forward to picking up a new copy on my way to grab a coffee at the co-op.
Maybe this is insensitive, but I always felt you focused too much on businesses with a personal tie (BOWS), and restaurants outside the grid (we have many treasures within the grid which were seemingly ignored).
Either way, I'm sad to see it gone. I'm sad that my personal friend, Judd, and others have lost employment over this. It has become an institution to those of us who live and love on the grid.
You will be missed!

wburg said...

Some of the subjects I first researched for MM articles, and even more subjects originally planned as MM articles but never finished, are currently being incorporated into my new book on K Street. There's a whole lot to write about in this neck of the woods, and a lot of ways to distribute that writing, depending on how highly one prioritizes getting paid.

I'm sad to lose what had become a sort of "class reunion" of amazing local talents, creative legends and all around great folks to work with (and have staff meetings with!) and very sad to lose an outlet for writing and sharing the secrets of this perennially underrated city (and even getting paid for it!) Although in some ways we can say "mission accomplished"--the secret is out about this formerly sleepy place, just now starting to wake up and reclaim some of its rowdy, troublemaking heritage. Now the challenge is to keep our community together, keep sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm via whatever media we can find, and, of course, keep Midtown janky!

beckler said...

I agree that we did a lot of outside the grid coverage. Certainly when I started writing about food for MidMo, over 5 years ago, there was wayyyyyyy more good food outside the grid than on it. That has slowly been changing, but I still think most of the good grub is in South Sac. Due to budget and personal taste, I prefer cheap, "ethnic" food, and there is not much of that to be had on the grid.

Not that it matters now, the Bows thing is probably legit, however, even if I didn't know those ladies that business would still be very exciting to me and I would still hang out there. In fact, I now know Jaymes, not through any personal way, but just because I ate at Fat Face in Davis like once or twice a week.

Anonymous said...

Kara, I think those are both valid observations. As someone who didn't write anything for MM (outside of a Musical Chairs) but saw a lot of the inner workings, I know there was an awareness & concern that it was too in-bred (never has a mag published the phrase "full disclosure" more!) but at the end of the day I'd say that's what made it what it was & gave it its personality. It was basically a group of fairly like-minded people, old friends, jank-lovers etc. One good thing about it being over is that it can now be appreciated for what it was instead of criticised for what it wasn't.


Anonymous said...

No question that we got inbred on stuff, but the funny thing is that I met most of the folks who were supposed to be 'in' the clique after MM started - I'd never met probably 75+% of our contributors before they submitted stuff. But, if it seemed like a clique I think that was sort of a good thing since it means that there was a coherence of vision to the magazine that evolved totally organically.

We wrote about a lot of the same people/places because they tended to be the ones doing the most stuff. People like Rick Ele, Renny Pritikin and Olivia Coelho just bring it over and over and over again. If those three people moved to Fresno I feel like half the local shit I get excited about every week would disappear.

It was the same thing with the arts coverage: the Crocker, CCAS, AXIS and later, Bows brought consistently challenging work to the region. I didn't write about their shows because I knew people, I got to know people because I watched what they were doing so closely. Big difference.


Anonymous said...

great thread, esp. miller and OMF. y'all should be really proud of what you pulled off for those few years. living out of sac, i loved that mag as a way to keep tabs. and you could tell the people behind it were genuinely excited about the stuff presented.

maybe you could throw together a book with the best MidMo stuff in it.


DJ Rick said...

Bummed to be hearing about this news just now. I'm bummed about this even more than I'm bummed about how I'm not "bringing it" as much as I had been. The whole city loses here. But the creative people behind it no doubt will put their effort into something else from which the community can grow.

Sadly, I had researched a piece and wrote about 80% of an article about the best burgers at taquerias, but it went bye-bye in a computer crash. I was still excited about possibly re-creating it from memory--if only I could remember certain alliterative word-tracks that had me feeling pretty damn proud of myself--in hopes that it might make it into a future edition. Now maybe it'll just be on Yelp. Psh...

I'll definitely keep reading here 'cos I value Becky's perspective on the Sacto foodscene more than anyone else, and as a restaurant reviewer, she's been the best this city's seen since I started paying attention maybe ten years ago.

beckler said...

Wow, that praise means a lot. It's mutual admiration cuz I love when you write about food and was really stoked to publish your hamburger piece and sooo bummed when it didn't work out. We even sent the photographer out! Let me know if you want me to publish it on heckasac! Or the MidMo website. We could use the photos Scott D. took.