Texas Monthly is a monthly American magazine headquartered in Austin, Texas. Texas Monthly was founded in 1973 by Michael R. Levy and has been published by Emmis Publishing, L.P. since 1998. Texas Monthly chronicles life in contemporary Texas, writing on politics, the environment, industry, and education. The magazine also covers leisure topics such as music, art, dining, and travel. It is a member of the City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA).
Texas Monthly has a paid circulation of 300,000 and it has a monthly readership of 2.5 million people—one out of seven Texan adults. Its audience comprises about an equal number of men and women, most of whom are between the ages of 30 and 55.
Evan Smith, former president of Texas Monthly, said in the September 16, 2009 issue of the Dallas Observer, "The magazine's audience is 'middle-aged' and 'elite'. I knew I was serving the elites rather than the masses. Is it any wonder, then, that when we occasionally gave in to the temptation to pander to the masses, we almost always pulled up short?"
Texas Monthly takes as its premise that Texas began as a distinctive place and remains so. It is the self-appointed arbiter of all things culturally Texan, with past articles on Texas BBQ, the Texas Rangers (including Joaquin Jackson's famous 1994 cover appearance), and Texas musicians.
Texas Monthly's annual "Bum Steer Awards" poke fun at Texas politicians and policies, odd Texas-related news items and personalities from the previous year. Anna Nicole Smith (prior to her death) was a perennial "winner". Other Bum Steer "Hall of Famers" include Ross Perot, Tom DeLay, and Jessica Simpson. It releases biennial lists with explanations of the "Ten Best" and "Ten Worst" Texas state legislators.
Since the establishment of the magazine, barbecue enthusiasts had been among the Texas Monthly staff. The magazine's first article about barbecue in Texas was published in 1973. The magazine often ranks what it considers to be the best barbecue restaurants in Texas. Calvin Trillin of The New Yorker said in 2008 that East Texas barbecue often did not interest the Austin-based staff of the Texas Monthly, who were more focused on Central Texas barbecue.
- General Excellence—2009, 2003, 1992, 1990
- Public Interest—1996, for "Not What the Doctor Ordered" by Mimi Swartz
- Reporting—1985, for "The Man in the Black Hat" (part 1 and 2) by Paul Burka
- Public Service—1980, for "Why Teachers Can't Teach" by Gene Lyons
- Reporting—1979, for a three-part series by Richard West
- Outstanding Editorial Achievement in Special Journalism—1974
A full list of awards is on .
Texas Monthly Press
In the 1980s, Texas Monthly Press published such books as Goodbye to a River and Hank the Cowdog and authors such as Bud Shrake, Stephen Harrigan and Gary Cartwright. Gulf Publishing Company purchased Texas Monthly Press in 1989.