Texas Fish and Game Outdoor Source, 25th Anniversary

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Texas Fish & Game, the largest and most popular outdoor publication in the Lone Star State, will mark its 25th year in 2009. Owners Roy and Ardia Neves have been a part of the magazine since its first issue in May, 1984. From the start, Texas Fish & Game had an ambitious plan: to become the number-one authority on the Texas Outdoors.

We've been fortunate to have worked the top manufacturers and retailers in the boating, fishing and hunting industries. They understand the value of reaching into the homes of our fishing and hunting readers every month

Texas Fish & Game, the largest and most popular outdoor publication in the Lone Star State, will mark its 25th year in 2009. Owners Roy and Ardia Neves have been a part of the magazine since its first issue in May, 1984. From the start, Texas Fish & Game had an ambitious plan: to become the number-one authority on the Texas Outdoors. A tall order given that this meant becoming the best source for Texas hunting, Texas saltwater fishing, and Texas freshwater fishing.

In 1984, the Neves' were running the largest weekly newspaper in Texas, The Highlander, located in Marble Falls. The paper was owned by Marble Falls businessman Bill Bray, who, like Roy and Ardia, was an avid outdoorsman. Since The Highlander's home base was the 1,800-square mile area surrounding the Highland Lakes region on the edge of the Hill Country, the newspaper featured extensive fishing and hunting coverage.

When a quarterly outdoors insert called The Highland Lakes Sportsman proved successful for The Highlander, Roy and Ardia, along with Highlander outdoor editor Marvin Spivey, were asked by Bray and then-president of the publishing company, Dan Alvey, to help transform it into a monthly magazine.

Christened Texas Fish & Game in May 1984, the new magazine started with fewer than 1,000 paid subscriptions.

In its first year, circulation climbed steadily. To establish Texas Fish & Game's credibility with its early advertisers, the publishers took an unusual step for a new regional magazine. In 1985, Texas Fish & Game joined the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the most respected authenticator of paid circulation for magazines and newspapers throughout the world.

The first year Texas Fish & Game was officially audited, its paid circulation was 20,000. Over the next 5 years, subscriptions and newsstand sales continued to rise, until circulation reached 70,000. In 1991, Texas Fish & Game merged with Texas Fisherman. The combination of the two similar subscriber lists pushed Texas Fish & Game's circulation over 90,000.

In 1996, Roy and Ardia Neves and Ron and Stephanie Ward bought Texas Fish & Game from Bray. It is currently the largest independently owned outdoor magazine in the country.

Today, despite circulation declines at virtually every major magazine and newspaper, Texas Fish & Game's ABC audited paid circulation remains at almost 91,000.

"We've worked very hard to build and maintain the trust of our loyal readers," said Roy Neves. "Thanks to a very talented editorial staff, we are able to offer the most comprehensive, best written - and photographed - coverage of the great Texas outdoors. And that effort has paid off."

Ardia Neves points to the longstanding relationships Texas Fish & Game has enjoyed with its many sponsors. "We've been fortunate to have worked the top manufacturers and retailers in the boating, fishing and hunting industries. They understand the value of reaching into the homes of our fishing and hunting readers every month," she said.

Texas Fish & Game is published monthly. Reach them at 1-800-750-4678, at http://www.fishgame.com.

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