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Shady Ave magazine sold to Trib Total Media

Nancy Polinsky Johnson, the publisher and editor of Shady Ave, has sold the quarterly magazine to Trib Total Media. The sale took effect on May 3.

Shady Ave, launched 25 years ago, covers the East End neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, along with the Fox Chapel area and Oakmont. Trib Total Media operates the news website TribLIVE.com, the Tribune-Review newspaper and 16 community publications in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

“It has truly been an honor to lead Shady Ave through a period of tremendous growth, taking the magazine to the quarter-century mark and seeing the pleasure that it brings to so many readers,” said Johnson. “But the birth of my first grandchild has prompted a change in priorities for me, and I know the time is right to hand the reins of the magazine over to others who will nurture it and take it to new levels.”

“We are delighted to acquire a publication that has built such a strong connection to its audience and community,” said Jennifer Bertetto, president and CEO of Trib Total Media. “The standards that Nancy has set and maintained are a model for anyone in the business. We look forward to continuing the tradition for many years to come.”

Johnson joined Shady Ave in 2003 and became the owner in 2009, serving as publisher and editor. She has been involved in every aspect of every issue of the magazine.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with a great team of people who share my enthusiasm for these fabulous parts of the Pittsburgh area that we all call home,” said Johnson, noting that key members of the team will continue to work with Shady Ave under its new ownership. “Thanks to their skills, we’ve been able to consistently tell compelling stories that highlight people, places and events in the very special neighborhoods covered by the magazine.”

Shady Ave is a lifestyle publication with articles that regularly run the gamut from long-form pieces — often historical in nature — to brief updates about new shops and restaurants in the magazine’s circulation area. In addition, local officials and neighborhood organizations are given space to update readers on their activities.

“The key to Shady Ave’s success has always been its hyper-local focus,” said Johnson. “People enjoy reading about things that are familiar to them, places they pass often, faces they recognize. I’m happy that the folks at Trib Total Media share that thinking.”

“Trib Total Media is dedicated to local news,” said Bertetto. “In addition to our 24/7 website and two newspapers serving the Alle-Kiski Valley and Westmoreland County, we have been strengthening our network of 11 weekly and five monthly community publications. Every community deserves a local publication that keeps its residents connected to each other. It’s a mission we are committed to for the long term.”

Trib Total Media has named John Allison to serve as editor of Shady Ave. Allison, a longtime Pittsburgh journalist, has been an editor at the Tribune-Review since 2019. “The audience that Nancy has established is an incoming editor’s dream. I look forward to continuing the growth of Shady Ave, just as these areas of Pittsburgh evolve,” said Allison. “These established neighborhoods also thrive on diversity and a welcoming attitude to everyone. That’s the mission we’ll continue.”