California (magazine, defunct 1991)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

California was an American monthly magazine, published from 1978 to 1991, which focused on the state of California.

It was founded as New West magazine in 1978 by Clay Felker, founder of New York Magazine.[1] It featured writers such as Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion and Joe Eszterhas.[1] It was purchased by Rupert Murdoch in 1977. In 1980, it was sold to Mediatex Communications Corp., which published Texas Monthly. Mediatex changed the name of the magazine to California.[1]

For 15 years, the magazine was a purveyor of "new journalism".[2] The magazine first exposed Jim Jones' People's Temple. Jones left the same night that an editor at New West magazine read him an article to be published by Marshall Kilduff detailing allegations of abuse by former Temple members.[3][4]

The magazine exposed defects in Firestone tires and issues with the sleeping pill Halcion.[2] A California May 1983 article "Top Guns", written by Ehud Yonay, inspired the movie Top Gun.[5]

The magazine's circulation peaked at about 360,000 in 1987.[6] By 1991, circulation had dropped to 250,000 and it was shut down along with sister publication SF.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Citron, Alan (30 July 1991). "California, 2 other magazines folding (part 2)". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ a b Wallace, Baine (11 October 1991). "The death of a California magazine". Santa Cruz Sentinel.
  3. ^ Krause, Charles; Layton, Deborah. Introduction – Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple. Anchor Books. p. 133.
  4. ^ Kilduff, Marshall and Phil Tracy."Inside Peoples Temple." Archived December 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple. Jonestown Project: San Diego State University. August 1, 1977.
  5. ^ Davidson, Steven (24 May 2017). "The Secret Jewish History Of 'Top Gun'". The Forward.
  6. ^ a b Citron, Alan (30 July 1991). "California, 2 other magazines folding (part 1)". Los Angeles Times.