Alabama Public TV Veteran Celebrates First Anniversary Of New Magazine Venture, Shares Advice at SPJ

Bob Corley started PRIME Magazine Montgomery a year ago. Now he’s sharing his story with the next generation of journalists at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 Conference at University of Alabama-Birmingham.

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BIRMINGHAM– Talk about great timing!

I had the occasion to meet the parent of not one, but TWO of my journalism students at the University of Alabama, who just happened to be doing a presentation Saturday at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 Conference.

Bob Corley spent 30 years at Alabama Public Television.  Today he focused not on his career as a TV guy, but his new baby: PRIME Magazine in Montgomery.

He says sales ability is key to launching out into one’s own magazine.  Since starting PRIME in April 2010, Corley says he’s able to make ends meet and “a little bit more.”

“You’re not going to get into this to make big money,” the public TV veteran noted.

“You’ve got to understand that editorial is where we all want to be, it’s what I enjoy the most, but it takes time away from selling,” Corley told the mostly student audience. “If you don’t have the advertising base, it’s not going to exist.”

Bob Corley laid out each of his 12 editions of PRIME Magazine as he gave tips to SPJ Regional Conference attendees about starting a new magazine in 2011.

Corley’s Kids

While Corley talked about his new baby in PRIME Magazine, his two former babies, Niko and Callie, are all grown up and have media-related careers of their own.  But, they find time to help dad and mom keep PRIME Magazine going.

Niko Corley writes a column for PRIME Magazine, the newest publication in the Montgomery area.

Niko writes an outdoors column, putting to use his range of media skills from photojournalism to writing to anything that says multimedia.

When he was a student at the University a few years ago, he was always walking around with a camera taking photos.

He also made a name for himself as a writer for multiple publications, including THE EXECUTIVE, which is published by the University’s College of Commerce and Business and Administration.

His sister, Callie, came along a couple of years after him with some experiences in television that she has simply built on over the years.

Today, Callie Corley designs PRIME and works at WSFA-12 News in Montgomery.

Callie Corley is working now at WSFA-12 News in Montgomery.

Bob made sure the students knew how his own children were able to take their journalism backgrounds and built their own multimedia careers.

Message to SPJ Attendees

Even though he mentioned his kids’ experiences in his presentation today,  he spent most of the time walking through how he started PRIME and sharing wisdom on launching one’s media career.

He says daily newspaper experience is not necessarily a requirement.

“You need experience that puts you on a deadline,” Corley said.  “I don’t care if you work for a weekly or monthly.”

Corley is the father of Niko and Callie Corley, who have finished the University of Alabama in the last five years.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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