He grew up in Fort Worth and attended Arlington Heights High School and Texas Christian University, where he majored in Journalism, Advertising and TV Broadcasting. He graduated wanting to have his own advertising agency. But Fort Worth had bigger ideas for this ex-TCU football safety that goes by the name of Hal Brown.
Instead he started his career with a small agency and eventually landed with The Summit Group. Its major account was Michael’s Arts and Crafts stores. In a stroke of genius the agency talked the company into starting a magazine under the company name with ideas and step-by-step instructions on making crafts, with all of the materials that so happened could be found at Michael’s. This set an idea in motion that if it worked for Michael’s – and it did – it would work for other companies too.
Thus, a string of national consumer magazines such as Outdoor World from the Bass Pro Shops, Pet Life that was later tied to Ralston Purina, Chief Auto Parts and the most successful of them all Signature Kitchens and Baths came forth. All of these national magazines became very successful and brought the magazine publishing business from New York to Fort Worth.
Along the way the now well known publishing arm ventured into a magazine called Country Collections. It was a magazine where various manufacturers and individuals of country furniture and items, who could not afford to advertise in large national magazines, sent their items to Fort Worth where they were photographed and placed in the new issue. The problem was logistics. To send the item back was costly and if they didn’t send it back it had to be warehoused so that it could be sold. The magazine folded.
But in its place came Cowboys and Country, a quarterly magazine that was founded here in Fort Worth but needed to be revamped somewhat. And a monthly magazine called Chili Pepper, obtained from a company in Arizona. Chili Pepper was a magazine for those who like the hot and spicy aspects of food and their recipes and manufacturers. It was later sold to another publishing company.
And then the real idea hit Hal Brown. He wanted to publish a magazine about his beloved city. And he wanted to do so before someone in Dallas did. “I am pretty much like Amon Carter when it comes to the differences between Dallas and Fort Worth and how I feel about the two cities,” says Brown. “I remember him taking his lunch with him when he visited Dallas so he didn’t have to buy a Dallas meal. I am the same way.”
On so, Fort Worth, Texas – The City’s Magazine was born. Brown recalls, “It was a tough first three years but we stuck with it and made it into the premier magazine it is today. I believe in the city and am very proud of my hometown”. In those first three years they had to undergo a model shift that has benefitted the magazine greatly. They took it from a “free” publication being mailed to upper income zip codes in the city to a “paid subscription”. This was done feeling that advertisers preferred paid subscriptions versus free ones and they were right.
Today, the magazine is featured on three entities. The magazine itself, available by subscription or any newsstand, a television show entitled “FYI FW” shown on KTXA Channel 21 and a web site www.fwtx.com. But Hal Brown is not stopping there. He has joined the magazine with one hundred and ten various charitable events and organizations over the past year. One is especially close to his heart because of his love of equine.
He has been a Team Penner for several years and was asked to be part of the Celebrity Riders in the annual cutting horse events put on by the Careity Foundation at Will Rogers Coliseum. Since 1995, Careity Foundation’s Celebrity Cutting Horse event has brought together international celebrities from all walks of life for an evening of fun, thrills and philanthropy. Sports figures, physicians, outstanding performing artists and more come to try their hand at the fast-growing sport of cutting. The next event is December 7th at Will Rogers.
He recently purchased a promising cutting horse which he took to the National Cutting Horse Association’s Summer Classic. Upon arriving the horse while stepping out of the trailer tore its Achilles tendon. Hal laments that he now has a very expensive lawn ornament!
Hal and his wife Camille and their three kids ages seventeen, fourteen and two have stayed right here in their beloved city and want to be a part of Fort Worth’s continued growth and prosperity. If you would like more information on the City’s Magazine, pick up a copy at your local newsstand or check out their web site at www.fwtx.com.