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Getting to Know Harris Publishing

The creation of the Idaho Falls Magazine publisher

Published online: Jan 08, 2021 Articles
Viewed 4256 time(s)

How did Harris Publishing, and later Idaho Falls Magazine, get its start? Idaho Falls Magazine sat down with founder Darryl Harris to learn more about our company’s past and what has led it down its current path as a source for good news and lifestyle stories in niche topics. 

IFM: How did the idea to start Harris Publishing come to you?

DH: It all started in November of 1971, I was  employed by a large advertising agency in Salt Lake City for three years. Then I moved back to Idaho, where I’m from, to start my own business. After I graduated from college in 66’, I came down to Idaho Falls and worked at the Post Register. It was my first job out of college as a writer. I wanted to be in advertising, but to work at a good advertising agency, you had to be a good writer.

Before moving to Idaho Falls, I had worked at Desert News in Salt Lake City. So when I applied at David W. Evans advertising they hired me because of my degree in advertising and my writing experience. I got to know the people that were putting Grand Targhee together. When they did, I came up and got the advertising account, as it grew people wanted me up here. I quit my job at Evans and  came up here, where I started this business as Darryl W. Harris Advertising.

IFM: How did you move from being an advertising agency to publishing magazines?

DH: I had relatives who were into chariot racing. They take two quarter horses and hook them to a chariot. They compete with two others in a 440-yard sprint to the finish line. There were chariot racing organizations in Idaho, Utah, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming. I started doing a magazine for that and it was fun. The magazine was successful, but it had a limited audience. I liked doing that actually better than being an advertising agency. So I decided, “Well, if I’m going to kind of end up in magazine publishing, I need to do some magazines that have more potential for growth.” That’s when Potato Grower and other magazines came into the picture.

IFM: At what point did your sons get involved with the company?

DH: In 2008 I sold the business to the boys. The boys had been working here for quite a few years. They started vacuuming the floor and dumping the garbage when they were little kids.

By the time it was time for them to take over, they had a lot of experience. 

IFM: Has it been rewarding to watch your business stay within the family?

DH: As I got near retirement age, I worked with our accountant to discover a direction we could move in. We were about ready to put the word out that the company was for sale, but the boys started expressing interest and I was happy to sell the company to them because I would rather see the magazine, the heritage, the publishing names, the name Harris and my boys be in it. 

Click here to read more from the January issue of Idaho Falls Magazine.


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