Madison Magazine wins top honor on national stage

City Regional Magazine Association names local publication winner of general excellence award in its circulation category
Cover of CRMA Finalists magazine
Courtesy of CRMA

The top award from the City Regional Magazine Association has eluded Madison Magazine for decades. General excellence is a coveted designation given to three magazines in three circulation categories. Madison Magazine has been a finalist twice previously, but became a first-time winner of the general excellence award at the 36th Annual National City and Regional Magazine Awards.

Madison Magazine fell in the circulation category of 30,000 or less, competing with four other finalists: Honolulu Magazine, Sonoma Magazine, Louisville Magazine and Columbus Monthly. The winners were announced Wednesday in a livestreamed awards ceremony.

“To win it for our 2020 work during such a momentous year is incredibly rewarding and makes us so proud of what we’ve done,” says Madison Magazine Editor Andrea Behling. “We were up against four other outstanding finalists, and we’ve always been a bit of an underdog in this national competition that nearly every city regional in the United States participates in every year.”

CRMA released judges’ comments this year. Regarding Madison Magazine’s general excellence entry, the judges noted, “Making the most of 2020, Madison Magazine ushered in a redesign that brought fresh energy and gorgeous photography into its pages and strong editorial packages that tackled the year’s hardest topics head-on, including an electrifying cover story about the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Madison Magazine was also a finalist in the feature story category (circulation less than 60,000) for the October 2020 cover story, “The Future of Madison’s Epiconomy,” written by Marc Eisen. “Despite limited access to Epic’s leadership team, Marc Eisen managed to give readers a timely, informative look inside a local company with national name recognition — the ultimate sweet spot for a city and regional feature story,” the judges’ comments read.

More than 100 judges selected the finalists. They included representatives from publications and media outlets such as AARP the Magazine, Advertising Age, The Atavist Magazine, The Atlantic, Better Homes & Gardens, Consumer Reports, Cosmopolitan, Country Gardens, Discover Magazine, Eater, ESPN, Fast Company, Food & Wine, Forbes, Game & Fish, Garden & Gun, GQ, Houston Press, IEEE Spectrum, Inc. Magazine, Life Magazine, Marie Claire, Men’s Health, Meredith Corporation, Midwest Living, Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Outdoor Life, Rachael Ray In Season, Scientific American, Successful Farming, Time, Voice Media Group and The Washington Post, as well as journalism professors from the Missouri School of Journalism.

Madison Magazine is a finalist for nine Milwaukee Press Club Awards for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism for 2020 work. The specific awards — gold, silver or bronze — will be announced May 19.

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