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Deep-Run Roots: Q&A with Delta Magazine's Scott Coopwood

Scott Coopwood and his wife Cindy

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of producing a quality magazine?
Trying to outdo ourselves with every new edition! Every edition must be better than the last in order to keep our readers interested. When I created Delta Magazine, I spent a year before the first edition was published deciding what the look of the magazine should be, what the content would consist of, and how all of that would be presented. From that first edition back in 2003, we have tried hard to meet the expectations of our readers with every outing.
What has been the greatest satisfaction for you as a magazine publisher?
In our particular situation, my greatest satisfaction as the publisher and owner of Delta Magazine has been introducing people from around the state and country to our special region of Mississippi. There is simply nothing like the Mississippi Delta. In regard to publishing magazines in general, including Delta Magazine and our other magazines, creating ideas from thin air, bringing them together and presenting them to the public with beautiful photography and engaging content and then receiving a tremendous response from readers and the public brings incredible satisfaction to us.
How would you describe the audience for Delta Magazine?
Our audience is made up of people who love the Delta and who are from here, perhaps they still live here or live beyond our borders. Then, our audience would consist of people who have visited and have had a special experience and want to remain connected to the Delta. Our audience is also made up of people who have never been to the Delta, but have heard about it and are interested in our region and our way of life. Our audience is very loyal and are completely engaged in what we are doing whether that is the magazine, our social media platforms, our products unique to the Delta, or our events.
Most publishers choose to work in areas far more populated than the Mississippi Delta. What’s the attraction for you?
I’m a seventh-generation Mississippian and a fifth-generation Deltan. My family was among that first wave who settled in the Delta at the end of the Civil War. Therefore, my roots are deep here and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Also, in my lifetime, I have seen the world discover the Delta via our music, food, and other culture. People from around the globe are drawn to the Delta and that has been exciting to witness firsthand. We must have a certain ad revenue coming in to survive and in a small market like the Delta, those ad dollars are not as tall as ad dollars in more populated markets. However, our mission isn’t completely about the money; it’s about publishing something that we feel celebrates and promotes our way of life.
You are well-known as a musician who performs with professionals, a person who knows his way around a guitar, but you have called it “just a hobby.” Why?
Scott Coopwood taking the stage at Ground Zero with Derek St. Holmes.

I started playing a guitar in the late 1960s and never stopped. I played in bands in high school and college, but I found it was more fun to write songs and make records than playing in a smoky bar. On a good day, “making it” in the music business is almost impossible, and while some do make a fortune in that industry, most barely survive. I didn’t want to just survive and I enjoyed making records. But, when I met my wife (Cindy), I decided it was time to get a haircut and go to work and that’s what I did. I wanted to be in a position to support a family and my music outing back in the day wasn’t going to pay the bills. I still love music and I continue to play a couple of blues festivals each year with my good friend, Derek St. Holmes, who has been Ted Nugent’s singer for over 30 years. So, through Derek and my other friends who have actually “made it” I have lived vicariously through them!
When people ask you about Ole Miss, what do you tell them?
I tell them that Ole Miss literally made my life and it continues to do so. I was lucky to fall into an area I love — writing and marketing — and I learned all of these skills at Ole Miss. I was also blessed to have some great instructors who were not only my teachers, but my friends. They pushed me and gave me tons of encouragement. I needed that back in those days.

The Meek School Magazine is a collaborative effort of Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications students with the faculty of Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Every week, for the next few weeks, HottyToddy.com will feature an article from Meek Magazine, Issue 5 (2017-2018).

For questions or comments, email us at hottytoddynews@gmail.com.

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