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The National Wildlife Federation’s Commitment To Children With Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr. & Ranger Rick Cub Magazines – Still Going Strong In Print After 50 Years – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Bob Harper, Executive Publisher, Mary Dalheim, Editorial Director & Lori Collins, Editor In Chief…

November 28, 2017

“Of course, from a publishing perspective there has been the struggle that people thought everything digital was free. But now, I think you’re seeing that change in the web business, in general. You see a lot more people charging for content. Over time that will change more, and will allow us opportunity to invest more in digital and get the return on it. But I think print will always be at the core. And that’s not such a foreign concept. Even when you listen to TV people or movie people, they’ll tell you it starts with a script. The written word is still very important. And in our case too, the photos that we have are terrific. And those are things that live in a magazine format that’s really something unique.” Bob Harper…

“I think there is something to be said for that tactile experience. It allows them to enter a little magazine world of their own. Also with children, the magazine is the first thing that they get in the mail and it makes them feel grownup. It’s very exciting to rush to the mailbox and get that and hold it in your hand. And I do think that it helps them focus.” Mary Dalheim…

“I will tell you an anecdote that I heard recently that made me happy and really resonates now in terms of this question. My son has a friend who has a one-year-old child and he sent him a subscription to Cub and it came in the mail recently. He got a call from his friend, who told him that Cub magazine was the one thing that could get the child to be quiet. He carries it around; he sits on the floor and pages through it. He’s a one year old, so he can’t read it obviously, he can only have it read to him, but there’s something about that tactile experience and being able to look at those pictures and have some comprehension. So, the magazine has taken this one year old and captivated him. And when we can do that, it’s why we do this work.” Lori Collins…

Published by the United States National Wildlife Federation, Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr. and Ranger Rick Cub magazines have always been on the mission of getting kids more actively involved in the environment and to instill a passionate interest in everything nature, from wildlife to surroundings the different animals live in. In 2018, the brand will celebrate 51 years of publishing excellence in conjoining entertainment with education to give children of all ages the best experience possible.

Bob Harper, executive publisher, Mary Dalheim, editorial director, and Lori Collins, editor in chief, are the three major keepers of the mission’s flame and have a burning desire to bring their message of conservation to more children by marrying (as Bob himself put it) their core product, the print magazine, with the many brand extensions that digital offers. It’s a noble idea for a very benevolent mission that has continued to succeed despite the disruption of the digital age.

I spoke with Bob, Mary and Lori recently and we talked about the magazines and their niche messages for each age group. With all three publications focusing on different animals and their environments, children are drawn to the spectacular imagery of the photos, the fascinating storytelling, and the interactive and fun activities that are offered in each issue. Maybe the reason this 51-year-old brand is still alive and kicking, with no intention of slowing down.

So, grab your lantern for frog-investigating and your binoculars for a little birdwatching and come along with Mr. Magazine™ for an adventure into nature with Bob, Mary and Lori from Ranger Rick.

But first the sound-bites:

Publisher NWF

On having three children’s print publications that are still going strong after 50 years in this digital age (Bob Harper): There have been lots of changes in the whole printing industry that makes it easier to do shorter-run titles, which are less expensive. It used to be that you had to have huge numbers to be able to get the make-ready costs down, but that’s changed a fair amount. So, you can start to break things out. I generally think now, in conjunction with the digital age, there’s a lot of talk about how digital business has splintered print even more, but I think they actually work very complementary together.

On how the decision is made about what content goes on which platform (Mary Dalheim): Let me break that down a little. Interestingly enough, we really think of the print magazine as our core content. And we started with the magazine, and now we’re doing a book club in which every eight weeks kids get two books, and really the content from those books comes from the magazine. We’re repurposing content that was used years ago and updating it and it’s great stuff that these kids have never seen before, so it’s another opportunity to use that content.

On whether video is becoming more important to the core product (Lori Collins): We don’t do a lot of video, but when we do video, it’s to take those still photos on the page and bring them to life. I can talk about the way a penguin moves, but if I can enhance that by showing it as well, and if I can do that with QR codes, and I know they’re outdated, but if I can do it with a QR for a child and they can have the magazine in their lap and see it all at the same time, that works for us.

On whether video is becoming more important to the core product (Mary Dalheim): Even though QR codes may be outdated for a lot of people, they’re not in our magazine, because the kids really love them. Most of the children have phones, and so if we talk about the speed of a cheetah, we’ll put a QR code and they can see the speed of a cheetah, but they’re also reading about it and looking at the most exciting and beautiful photos in the world. We use the very best photos. So, they’re getting a little bit of both in the magazine, and they’re really getting both online and in our apps too, because we started with the print content to begin with.

On whether the role of a publishing executive has changed over the last decade (Bob Harper): (Laughs) Yes, it’s changed a lot. And that’s one of the things that keeps you young and keeps it exciting. All the new channels; all the new ways to deliver content and also reach potential new customers. And being able to, as Lori and Mary said, complement the print with the additional resources that enhances the experience for the child is terrific. It really starts to roll out as an endless opportunity, if you look at all of these digital things. I think they’re very complementary and the key is how to make them work together.

On whether they are aware of any research or studies being done on comprehension or retention between print and digital (Lori Collins): To be honest, I am not aware of any of those regarding comprehension, but I will tell you an anecdote that I heard recently that made me happy and really resonates now in terms of this question. My son has a friend who has a one-year-old child and he sent him a subscription to Cub and it came in the mail recently. He got a call from his friend, who told him that Cub magazine was the one thing that could get the child to be quiet. He carries it around; he sits on the floor and pages through it. He’s a one year old, so he can’t read it obviously, he can only have it read to him, but there’s something about that tactile experience and being able to look at those pictures and have some comprehension. So, the magazine has taken this one year old and captivated him. And when we can do that, it’s why we do this work.

On whether they are aware of any research or studies being done on comprehension or retention between print and digital (Mary Dalheim): I think there is something to be said for that tactile experience. It allows them to enter a little magazine world of their own. Also with children, the magazine is the first thing that they get in the mail and it makes them feel grownup. It’s very exciting to rush to the mailbox and get that and hold it in your hand. And I do think that it helps them focus.

On how things have changed editorially since 2007 (Mary Dalheim): In 2007, we didn’t think print was dying, but we did wonder if it would take a backseat to other things. We weren’t sure how everything was going to pan out. And I think what we found is that print is the core. It’s where the content comes from; it’s where the ideas come from; and it’s something kids continually want. But they want the other things too. They’re not willing to make a choice between one or the other types of media. It’s the brand that they’re buying and the content. The core is print, but they want the other things too; the apps and the websites, etc.

On what they attribute the longevity of the Ranger Rick brand to (Mary Dalheim): It’s the animals. Animals appeal to kids and it’s one of the things that they love the most as they’re growing up. So, first of all, you can win with animals, that just never grows old.

On what they attribute the longevity of the Ranger Rick brand to (Lori Collins): Secondly, there’s a real nostalgia factor. A lot of the parents of the kids who are reading our magazines today, got Ranger Rick as a kid. And I’m sure Highlights has the same thing going on with their products. The parents remember reading it and have fond memories, and they want their children to have that experience.

On whether the current political climate has helped Ranger Rick’s conservation mission by bolstering subscriptions (Mary Dalheim): It certainly has ours, I think. Again, because I think some parents do want their children to be sensitive to conservation and do want to help raise young conservationists. And that’s part of Ranger Rick’s mission.

On how they view the magazine as an experience maker, besides storytelling (Mary Dalheim): We believe in empowerment. We want to tell kids about wildlife, and as they get older and are capable of understanding some conservation issues, we want to talk about those developments when appropriate. But at the same time, we want to empower kids so that they feel hopeful. We don’t want to tell them about an issue and then make them feel bad and worry about it. We always empower them, such as we talk about how you can make a butterfly garden which helps Monarchs. We also have a photo contest. We want to get kids outdoors, because that’s healthier for them, and it also makes them appreciate wildlife more. So, we have a lot of activities that really takes the child outside.

On how they view the magazine as an experience maker, besides storytelling (Bob Harper): If you look at the most recent Ranger Rick, there’s an article about backyard birdfeeders and the kinds of birds you can attract. And then it hooks them up to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where they do the birdfeeder survey. And so kids can become citizen scientists. There’s a lot of talk about citizen scientists these days and getting common folk to help contribute to science. And that’s an example. We try to model that kind of role for kids.

On the biggest challenge they face today (Bob Harper): On the business side, it really is marrying the print and the digital together going forward, and trying to come up with a model, as the rest of the publishing industry is trying to do, that allows us to invest in both of those successfully. And get people to see the value and be willing to pay a little bit extra, or at least what it’s worth, for the digital content.

On the biggest challenge they face today (Mary Dalheim): As editors, we see ourselves in the business of edutainment; we want it to be educational and entertaining at the same time, and that’s a continual challenge, to be entertaining as well as educating at the same time.

On anything they’d like to add (Bob Harper): I think the books are just wonderful examples of how the Ranger Rick characters and magic can be extended and I think we’re just going to do more of that in the future, so keep watching us as we try and do more things for kids. And that’s a big part of the National Wildlife Federation mission, reaching the next generation of conservationists. And we’re a big part of that; it’s our outreach. We’ve been doing it for 50 years and our plan is to do it for another 50. So, we’re going to reach even more.

On anything they’d like to add (Mary Dalheim): One thing I’d like to add about Ranger Rick is that we have an advisory board of over 200 kids. And I talked about edutainment being a challenge; they help us with that, because we are constantly asking them what they think of things. They pick our covers. We’ll send them three or four and ask them which one they like the best, and we always go with them it seems, because they really know best. And they give us reasons why they like something or don’t.

On what motivates each of them to get out of bed every morning (Lori Collins): You mean other than my dog’s nose pushing me in my face? (Laughs) I really love hearing the stories about people being engaged by the work that we produce. It’s great to hear those kinds of stories; the kid won’t go to soccer because he’s reading about chameleons.

On what motivates each of them to get out of bed every morning (Mary Dalheim): We get over 200 letters a month from kids who are really engaged with wildlife and I think that’s really rewarding. It’s also rewarding that we’re on social media with adults and almost daily we’re told how they read the magazine regularly when they were young and how it changed their lives and have seen a lot of people become scientists and wildlife naturalists because of us. It’s all very rewarding.

On what motivates each of them to get out of bed every morning (Bob Harper): For me, back to that whole idea of animals; animals are the rock stars of childhood and I think it’s great to be a roadie, behind the scenes, working with these spectacular people who make the show so great for kids.

On what she would have tattooed upon her brain that would be there forever and no one could ever forget about her (Mary Dalheim): I’ll tell you what comes to mind; Ranger Rick’s mother is what they call me, and at first I was horrified by that, but now I’ve become very proud of that.

On what he would have tattooed upon his brain that would be there forever and no one could ever forget about him (Bob Harper): From a career perspective, my whole career has been spent in the youth market, so I hope people will remember me as someone who helped contribute to good things for kids, particularly educational and edutainment, where they both enjoyed and learned from.

On what she would have tattooed upon her brain that would be there forever and no one could ever forget about her (Lori Collins): I come from a family of schoolteachers, and I knew that I didn’t want to do that, but in some ways I feel like a lot of what I do is guided by that background and I’m proud of that.

On what someone would find her doing if they showed up unexpectedly one evening at her home (Lori Collins): There’s probably a beer or a glass of wine involved. Also, maybe going to a sporting event, or hanging out with friends. And maybe TV. (Laughs)

On what someone would find her doing if they showed up unexpectedly one evening at her home (Mary Dalheim): I’m a reader, so I’m probably reading.

On what someone would find him doing if they showed up unexpectedly one evening at his home (Bob Harper): It’s not quite that time of year, but my idea of unwinding is being outside in the yard, or hiking or biking. And soon hopefully, cross-country skiing. Certainly, that’s not every day, but when it’s nice out that’s what I’ll be doing.

On what keeps each of them up at night (Mary Dalheim): Money for one thing; it’s expensive to make these products. I want to make the very best we can and we’re trying to stretch that dollar in every way we can.

On what keeps each of them up at night (Lori Collins): I share the money concerns, but otherwise I sleep pretty well.

On what keeps each of them up at night (Bob Harper): As a publisher, it’s great to hear the editorial people put the money up there as one of the issues (Laughs), but for me it’s can we be out there enough and on top of it to ride the wave between print and digital. Just to stay on top of that in a way that keeps us going, but I’m very optimistic about it. Generally speaking, it’s not so much worrying about it; it’s more trying to think of all of the options and trying to pick the ones that work for us.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Bob Harper, executive publisher, Mary Dalheim, editorial director & Lori Collins, editor in chief, Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr. and Ranger Rick Cub magazines.

Samir Husni: As executive publisher, can you talk about the fact that you have three children’s magazines in print, among other things, that are still going strong in this digital age 50 years after they were started?

Bob Harper: I’ve been in the children’s business for so long that I’ve seen the trends, which is to be able to serve narrower niches, and this is also all a part of the current child development movement too. There was a time when people just looked at kids as one big group; kids are kids are kids, and then a lot of research came out about education, etc., and kids’ abilities to comprehend things, and people realized you can’t offer a zero to three-year-old the same thing you offer a four to seven-year-old or a seven to twelve-year-old. You have to tailor your presentation to those groups.

And clearly, there have been lots of changes in the whole printing industry that makes it easier to do shorter-run titles, which are less expensive. It used to be that you had to have huge numbers to be able to get the make-ready costs down, but that’s changed a fair amount. So, you can start to break things out.

I generally think now, in conjunction with the digital age, there’s a lot of talk about how digital business has splintered print even more, but I think they actually work very complementary together. And there’s an opportunity in the future to be even more specialized, by interest and maybe even more finely, by age.

Samir Husni: Mary, as editorial director, how do you decide what content goes on which platform? Would this be better for print, or digital, or video? What is the differentiating factors for you?

Mary Dalheim: Let me break that down a little. Interestingly enough, we really think of the print magazine as our core content. And we started with the magazine, and now we’re doing a book club in which every eight weeks kids get two books, and really the content from those books comes from the magazine. We’re repurposing content that was used years ago and updating it and it’s great stuff that these kids have never seen before, so it’s another opportunity to use that content.

Actually, we’re doing a lot of new games and apps on the website; we’re working on that right now, they’re not quite up yet. And that also really came from the core, the magazine, and we took that content, it’s scientific content that we’ve had experts check about animals, wildlife and conservation, and we’re just taking that same content and using it as an app and asking how can we make it even more exciting?

Lori Collins: Mary’s right; everything starts with print for us; it’s where we spend most of our energy and resources. It’s more a question of how can we take that print and enhance it?

Mary Dalheim: And one way would be in making it more interactive. If we can look at that print and make it more interactive with the child, whether it’s with video or voice or something else.

Samir Husni: Lori, as editor in chief, is video becoming more important to the core product?

Lori Collins: We don’t do a lot of video, but when we do video, it’s to take those still photos on the page and bring them to life. I can talk about the way a penguin moves, but if I can enhance that by showing it as well, and if I can do that with QR codes, and I know they may seem outdated, but if I can do it with a QR for a child and they can have the magazine in their lap and see it all at the same time, that works for us.

Mary Dalheim: Even though QR codes may be outdated for a lot of people, they’re not in our magazine, because the kids really love them. Most of the children have phones, and so if we talk about the speed of a cheetah, we’ll put a QR code and they can see the speed of a cheetah, but they’re also reading about it and looking at the most exciting and beautiful photos in the world. We use the very best photos. So, they’re getting a little bit of both in the magazine, and they’re really getting both online and in our apps too, because we started with the print content to begin with.

Samir Husni: Bob, if you look back over the last decade, has your job as a publishing executive changed in those years?

Bob Harper: (Laughs) Yes, it’s changed a lot. And that’s one of the things that keeps you young and keeps it exciting. All the new channels; all the new ways to deliver content and also reach potential new customers. And being able to, as Lori and Mary said, complement the print with the additional resources that enhances the experience for the child is terrific. It really starts to roll out as an endless opportunity, if you look at all of these digital things. I think they’re very complementary and the key is how to make them work together.

Of course, from a publishing perspective there has been the struggle that people thought everything digital was free. But now, I think you’re seeing that change in the web business, in general. You see a lot more people charging for content. Over time that will change more, and will allow us opportunity to invest more in digital and get the return on it. But I think print will always be at the core. And that’s not such a foreign concept. Even when you listen to TV people or movie people, they’ll tell you it starts with a script. The written word is still very important. And in our case too, the photos that we have are terrific. And those are things that live in a magazine format that’s really something unique.

Samir Husni: Lori, from a scientific approach and working with the childhood studies that are out there; are you seeing any research being done in the comprehension or retention between print and other forms of media?

Lori Collins: To be honest, I am not aware of any of those regarding comprehension, but I will tell you an anecdote that I heard recently that made me happy and really resonates now in terms of this question. My son has a friend who has a one-year-old child and he sent him a subscription to Cub and it came in the mail recently. He got a call from his friend, who told him that Cub magazine was the one thing that could get the child to be quiet. He carries it around; he sits on the floor and pages through it. He’s a one year old, so he can’t read it obviously, he can only have it read to him, but there’s something about that tactile experience and being able to look at those pictures and have some comprehension. So, the magazine has taken this one year old and captivated him. And when we can do that, it’s why we do this work.

Mary Dalheim: I think there is something to be said for that tactile experience. It allows them to enter a little magazine world of their own. Also with children, the magazine is the first thing that they get in the mail and it makes them feel grownup. It’s very exciting to rush to the mailbox and get that and hold it in your hand. And I do think that it helps them focus.

Another interesting story that I told Lori about and it made her day was that a mother recently told me that she couldn’t get her child to go to soccer practice because he was reading Ranger Rick Jr., and he wanted to finish the story on chameleons. So, there again is that focus that we’re talking about.

Samir Husni: Mary, I think the last time you and I spoke was in 2007; how have things changed since then?

Mary Dalheim: In 2007, we didn’t think print was dying, but we did wonder if it would take a backseat to other things. We weren’t sure how everything was going to pan out. And I think what we found is that print is the core. It’s where the content comes from; it’s where the ideas come from; and it’s something kids continually want. But they want the other things too. They’re not willing to make a choice between one or the other types of media. It’s the brand that they’re buying and the content. The core is print, but they want the other things too; the apps and the websites, etc.

We received a picture that’s really cute that we ran in the most recent issue of Ranger Rick, and it’s of a girl that saves all of her Ranger Rick magazines. In the picture she has them on the floor and she’s looking at them. And she’s not the only reader that does that. We have a lot of readers that just save all of them and they go back and review them over and over again. So, there is that tactile print adoration again.

Lori Collins: I also think the key to what we do, whether it’s in print, which is what we do mostly, or if it’s another medium; we’re storytellers. And people like a good story. We happen to tell non-fiction stories primarily, but that’s what’s captivating the kids.

Samir Husni: We’ve seen a lot of new children’s magazines come into the marketplace, but what do you attribute the longevity of Ranger Rick to, especially now as you enter your 51st year?

Mary Dalheim: It’s the animals. Animals appeal to kids and it’s one of the things that they love the most as they’re growing up. So, first of all, you can win with animals, that just never grows old.

Lori Collins: Secondly, there’s a real nostalgia factor. A lot of the parents of the kids who are reading our magazines today, got Ranger Rick as a kid. And I’m sure Highlights has the same thing going on with their products. The parents remember reading it and have fond memories, and they want their children to have that experience.

Recently, I was recruiting people to evaluate some new things that we’re doing and several of the people who responded very proudly told me about how much they had enjoyed reading the magazine as a kid and they wanted to pass that on to their children. So, I think that’s a lot of what’s going on with us.

Mary Dalheim: We really are raising young conservationists and that’s what we hear from the parents who write in. We find out that the parents are naturalists or scientists, and they started with Ranger Rick.

Samir Husni: I hear from many of the adult conversation magazines that the current political climate has helped their causes a lot and they’re seeing more people subscribing and requesting their magazines.

Mary Dalheim: It certainly has ours, I think. Again, because I think some parents do want their children to be sensitive to conservation and do want to help raise young conservationists. And that’s part of Ranger Rick’s mission.

Samir Husni: How do you view the magazine as an experience maker, besides the storytelling?

Mary Dalheim: We believe in empowerment. We want to tell kids about wildlife, and as they get older and are capable of understanding some conservation issues, we want to talk about those developments when appropriate. But at the same time, we want to empower kids so that they feel hopeful. We don’t want to tell them about an issue and then make them feel bad and worry about it. We always empower them, such as we talk about how you can make a butterfly garden which helps Monarchs. We also have a photo contest. We want to get kids outdoors, because that’s healthier for them, and it also makes them appreciate wildlife more. So, we have a lot of activities that really takes the child outside.

Bob Harper: If you look at the most recent Ranger Rick, there’s an article about backyard birdfeeders and the kinds of birds you can attract. And then it hooks them up to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where they do the birdfeeder survey. And so kids can become citizen scientists. There’s a lot of talk about citizen scientists these days and getting common folk to help contribute to science. And that’s an example. We try to model that kind of role for kids.

Mary Dalheim: We also have another article about frogs and they can join FrogWatch USA and help conservationists monitor frogs and keep an eye on how they’re doing. So, we’re always trying to engage kids with wildlife and the outdoors.

Bob Harper: And on the conservation side, the Ranger Rick adventures, we have the comic strip with Ranger Rick and the Deep Woods Gang every issue, and they always cover a kind of conservation issue with a fun way of doing it. And for the December/January, some of the kids worry about what happens to the Christmas trees; well, there are stories about using the Christmas trees to stop erosion in the marshlands of Louisiana by bundling them together.

Samir Husni: What would you consider your biggest challenge today?

Bob Harper: On the business side, it really is marrying the print and the digital together going forward, and trying to come up with a model, as the rest of the publishing industry is trying to do, that allows us to invest in both of those successfully. And get people to see the value and be willing to pay a little bit extra, or at least what it’s worth, for the digital content.

Mary Dalheim: As editors, we see ourselves in the business of edutainment; we want it to be educational and entertaining at the same time, and that’s a continual challenge, to be entertaining as well as educating at the same time.

Samir Husni: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Bob Harper: I think the books are just wonderful examples of how the Ranger Rick characters and magic can be extended and I think we’re just going to do more of that in the future, so keep watching us as we try and do more things for kids. And that’s a big part of the National Wildlife Federation mission, reaching the next generation of conservationists. And we’re a big part of that; it’s our outreach. We’ve been doing it for 50 years and our plan is to do it for another 50. So, we’re going to reach even more.

Mary Dalheim: One thing I’d like to add about Ranger Rick is that we have an advisory board of over 200 kids. And I talked about edutainment being a challenge; they help us with that, because we are constantly asking them what they think of things. They pick our covers. We’ll send them three or four and ask them which one they like the best, and we always go with them it seems, because they really know best. And they give us reasons why they like something or don’t. But they give us ideas; they tell us what they’re interested in and what they care about. We’re in constant contact with them, weekly contact.

Samir Husni: What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?

Lori Collins: You mean other than my dog’s nose pushing me in my face? (Laughs) I really love hearing the stories about people being engaged by the work that we produce. It’s great to hear those kinds of stories; the kid won’t go to soccer because he’s reading about chameleons.

I’ve been doing this for a long time, and Mary has been doing it for a long time as well, and there are only so many animals in this world. So you write these stories that you’ve already written before and you think that you did the best job you could 10 years ago, how are you going to make it better? And you realize that you don’t have to do it completely differently, because it’s a different child that’s reencountering it, but you do. You want to make it better; you want to make it right for today’s kid as opposed to 10 years ago. And we seem to be doing a good job with that.

Mary Dalheim: We get over 200 letters a month from kids who are really engaged with wildlife and I think that’s really rewarding. It’s also rewarding that we’re on social media with adults and almost daily we’re told how they read the magazine regularly when they were young and how it changed their lives and have seen a lot of people become scientists and wildlife naturalists because of us. It’s all very rewarding. And we get to work with the most beautiful photography in the world and fascinating topics.

Lori Collins: We’re also lucky because having worked in materials that were designed for schools, where you had to follow curriculum and things like that, that can really feel like your hands are tied behind your back. Our only constraints are accuracy and being respectful of our readers. We don’t have to worry about some of these other imposed restrictions, so it’s rewarding to work in that environment.

Bob Harper: For me, back to that whole idea of animals; animals are the rock stars of childhood and I think it’s great to be a roadie, behind the scenes, working with these spectacular people who make the show so great for kids. It’s really spectacular and the people are just great. And the cause is great; the edutainment is great.

Samir Husni: If you could have one thing tattooed upon your brain that no one would ever forget about you, what would it be?

Mary Dalheim: I’ll tell you what comes to mind; Ranger Rick’s mother is what they call me, and at first I was horrified by that, but now I’ve become very proud of that.

Bob Harper: From a career perspective, my whole career has been spent in the youth market, so I hope people will remember me as someone who helped contribute to good things for kids, particularly educational and edutainment, where they both enjoyed and learned from.

Lori Collins: I come from a family of schoolteachers, and I knew that I didn’t want to do that, but in some ways I feel like a lot of what I do is guided by that background and I’m proud of that.

Samir Husni: If I showed up unexpectedly at your home one evening after work, what would I find you doing? Having a glass of wine; reading a magazine; cooking; watching TV; or something else?

Lori Collins: There’s probably a beer or a glass of wine involved. Also, maybe going to a sporting event, or hanging out with friends. And maybe TV. (Laughs)

Mary Dalheim: I’m a reader, so I’m probably reading. But I would like to say what you would catch Lori doing if she was at a party, or even at her own party, she hands out Ranger Rick magazines.

Lori Collins: I actually take them where my son works at because there’s always kids there looking a little lost. (Laughs) I keep them in my car so I can pass them out whenever.

Bob Harper: It’s not quite that time of year, but my idea of unwinding is being outside in the yard, or hiking or biking. And soon hopefully, cross-country skiing. Certainly, that’s not every day, but when it’s nice out that’s what I’ll be doing.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps each of you up at night?

Mary Dalheim: Money for one thing; it’s expensive to make these products. I want to make the very best we can and we’re trying to stretch that dollar in every way we can.

Lori Collins: I share the money concerns, but otherwise I sleep pretty well.

Bob Harper: As a publisher, it’s great to hear the editorial people put the money up there as one of the issues (Laughs), but for me it’s can we be out there enough and on top of it to ride the wave between print and digital. Just to stay on top of that in a way that keeps us going, but I’m very optimistic about it. Generally speaking, it’s not so much worrying about it; it’s more trying to think of all of the options and trying to pick the ones that work for us.

Samir Husni: Thank you all.

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