Growing up on the banks of the Des Moines River on the west side of Fort Dodge, I always looked forward to the Friday edition of the Messenger. Each week, Sports Editor Bob Brown would write his award-winning column “Inside on the Outside.”
The Messenger set the bar high for outdoor journalism through Brown’s column. It was undoubtedly the most respected outdoor page in Iowa newspapers, and Bob was considered Iowa’s top sports writer
Larry Myhre, a longtime colleague and editor of the Sioux City Journal, said of Bob, “I can say this about my fishing partner for so many years. No one, and I do mean no one, will match what he did for the Fort Dodge Messenger or Iowa sports writing in general and no one has done it with the panache and skill and respect of his readers that Bob Brown, Master Angler, has done.”
After Bob’s retirement, the outdoor section began to fade. A number of good reasons led to its decline: economic, human resources, the shift to digital platforms, and the multitude of competing venues. Yet Iowa remained an outdoor state, offering tremendous opportunities in the areas of hunting, fishing, kayaking, boating and camping. As such, interest in outdoor recreation today is at an all-time high.
Iowa Sportsman Magazine is written about Iowa by Iowans. Published in Fort Dodge by Twin Rivers Media, it has been the state’s leading publication of outdoor sports for 20 years. After spending a career exceeding 30 years in education, largely public school administration, I found a position doing what I loved most: writing about the outdoors.
In June, Iowa Sportsman approached Messenger Publisher Terry Christensen about helping to restore the outdoor section of the Messenger. We could not have found a more enthusiastic partner.
Beginning this month, Iowa Sportsman will be providing provocative outdoor content to the Messenger. An outdoor section will present relevant content to readers in the area of outdoor recreation and lifestyles in a professional and exciting manner that subscribers of both Iowa Sportsman and the Messenger have come to expect.
I only hope we can come close to the legacy of the late Bob Brown. We look forward to our partnership, and a renewed commitment by the Messenger to excellence in outdoor coverage.
Dr. John Chalstrom, Ph.D.
Editor, Iowa Sportsman Magazine
Editor’s note: This new feature appears on page 8B of today’s newspaper.