Columbus Parent turns 25 years old

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Dave Thomas became spokesman of Wendy's in 1989.

It's true of parenting and it's true of parenting magazines: Time sure flies whether you're raising kids or writing about raising kids! Columbus Parent turns 25 years old in 2014 and to celebrate we've compiled not only our own history, but also assembled some interesting facts about how Columbus parenting has changed in the last 25 years.


May 3, 1989 – Nancy Higdon Musgrave of Worthington launches Columbus Kids, a monthly tabloid-style magazine. A news report at the time says it "will be mailed to some 12,000 Columbus area homes." A later news report indicates the magazine originally was a paid-subscription publication.

November 1989 – Jerry Scheider of Clintonville purchases Columbus Kids from Musgrave.

Nov. 1, 1990 – Scheider changes the name of the magazine to Columbus Parent.

March 25, 1991 – A news article describes the magazine as a two-color newsprint monthly with a circulation of 22,000. Mail subscriptions are offered for $7, but it is also distributed free at 350 area locations. Scheider is the publisher and Molly Greenberg is the editor.

July 1, 1993 – The Consumers News Services division of The Dispatch Printing Company assumes ownership of Columbus Parent. This division publishes the magazine for the next 17 years. Editors include Donna Willis and Staci Perkins. The magazine remains a free newsprint monthly.

August 2010 – The Niche Publications division of The Dispatch Printing Company assumes responsibility for Columbus Parent. The magazine is redesigned and relaunched with the August 2010 issue. The editor is Jane Hawes. It remains a free newsprint monthly, produced in four-color, with a distribution of 45,000 with more than 1,100 pickup locations.

January 2014 – With Hawes still at the helm, Columbus Parent returns to the Consumers News Services division of The Dispatch Printing Company. In the previous four years, the magazine has won awards from the Press Club of Cleveland for the Best Magazine Website in Ohio and also was named runner-up for the Best Magazine in Ohio.


A lot has changed in 25 years! Let's take a look at how much…


*Columbus City Center opened - it's the first major new mall in Columbus since Westland Mall opened in 1969.

*Dave Thomas took on the role of TV spokesman for Wendy's with a series of commercials.

*Columbus-based CompuServe became the first major online service to open a gateway to the Internet, allowing subscribers to send and receive e-mail across a global computer network. This was the first taste of Internet connectivity for many consumers.

*Renovation of the Ohio Statehouse began. It was completed seven years later.

*Son of Heaven, a Chinese arts exhibit, opened at Columbus Central (now the location of COSI).

*The Wexner Center for the Arts opened on the OSU campus.

*The Cosby Show was the No. 1 TV show and Seinfeld premiered. More popular with young viewers were Blue's Clues and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.


*Blogs: or "Web logs" (that's the full term, dating from 1997). People starting keeping online diaries on the old USENET discussion forums of the 1980s, but blogging didn't take off until 1998 when the Open Diary website was launched.

*Cellphones: Portable telephony actually dates from the early 20th century, but it wasn't until 1989 when Motorola manufactured the MicroTAC 9800X that consumers could buy a truly portable phone (that didn't require a car engine to power it).

*GPS Navigation Units: These devices became available in 2000 when President Bill Clinton signed a bill that ordered the military to stop scrambling satellite signals so that mass-market units could use the signals.

*Once Upon a Child: This archetypal children's clothing resale chain was founded in 1984 in Columbus; there are now more than 240 stores throughout North America.

*Online Banking: The concept started in New York City in 1981 as a "videotex" system, but it took until 1994 when a truly workable and secure system was launched by the Stanford Federal Credit Union.

*Snugli Baby Carriers: Snuglis were invented in 1968 by Ann Moore, who served as a Peace Corps nurse in West Africa; the business was sold to Gerry Baby Products in 1985 after these baby slings became part of mainstream parenting.

*Starbucks: The company started in Seattle in 1971, opened its first non-Seattle stores in 1987, had 55 stores total in 1989, opened its first drive-thru in 1994 and now parents can visit 19,767 stores throughout the world for their caffeine courage.


Collection Size

1989: 1.7 million books

Today: 1.9 million books, videos, music plus more than 100,000 e-books

Annual Circulation

1989: 5.9 million

Today: 15 million

Getting Work Done

1989: The library had coin-operated typewriters for customers to use.

Today: The library has free computers for customers to use.

Homework Help Centers

1989: None

Today: 21



1989: Columbus Zoo

Today: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium ("and Aquarium" was added in 1999)

Annual Attendance

1989: 835,501

Today: 1.99 million


1989: 140 acres

Today: 580 acres


1989: The "Wildlight Wonderland" attracted 45,649 visitors.

Today: Renamed Wildlights in 2000, the exhibit attracted 314,213 visitors in 2013.

Most Popular Exhibits

1989:Summer Experience Day Camp; ZooKids preschool; Paw Prints Park and the Children's Zoo Barn; and Colo the gorilla (who celebrated her 33rd birthday).

Today: Animal Encounters Village; Stingray Bay;Colo (now 58 years old) and all the gorillas; polar bears and brown bears; kangaroo walkabout; lorikeet feeding; Manatee Coast; and, just opened, the Heart of Africa exhibit


Square footage

1989: 116,000

Today: 320,000

Annual Attendance

1989: 693,194

Today: 658,246

Most Popular Exhibits

1989: The Coal Mine; Rat Basketball; Foucault Pendulum; Robot and Beyond: The Age of Intelligent Machines and Special Effects: The Science of Movie and Television Magic exhibits

Today: The high-wire unicycle; Foucault Pendulum; electrostatic generator; Energy Explorers; Gadgets stage show; Little Kidspace; The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes



1989: Columbus Children's Hospital

Today: Nationwide Children's Hospital (changed in 2007)

Square Feet

1989: 1,300,150

Today: 3,977,542


1989: Approximately 3,000

Today: 9,417

Number of Beds

1989: 313

Today: 542

Outpatient Visits

1992 (earliest data available): 285,079

Today: 1,048,951