Meet the Media – Peter Fish, Editor-at-Large at Sunset Magazine

Meet the Media – Peter Fish, Editor-at-Large at Sunset Magazine
1. What’s your top story for today?
Right now I’m in the middle of assigning writers and compiling a photo shoot list for a giant wine/travel story Sunset’s wine editor, Sara Schneider, is doing for our October issue. As senior editor on the story, I’m working with Sara to come up with the story’s focus and structure. And because Sara can’t hit all the wine regions we’re including, I’m reaching out to a couple of wine-savvy freelancers to contribute. It’s all fun, except that I’m going to be sitting at my desk while everybody else is driving around eating really good food and drinking really good wine.
2. Tell us about your dream assignment.
My dream assignment took place this past March. I love Alaska. I love wildlife. I love stories about the environment, especially when there’s a little good news involved. In March I got to report on a story that combined all three of my favorite elements. It was the reintroduction of the near-extinct wood bison—the larger, lesser-known cousin of the plains bison—to Central Alaska. This involved transporting 135 wood bison from the wildlife sanctuary near Anchorage, where they had been living (and breeding) the past 10 years, into special bison containers that were hauled on trucks to Anchorage airport and then placed onto a cargo jet to be flown to a tiny Native Alaskan village, Shagaluk, near the Yukon River 300 miles to the west. Then I flew out to Shagaluk and got to watch the bison arrive at their new home, and got to talk to village residents about what it meant to them to have a giant animal return to their part of the world after a 100-year absence. It was amazing in every possible way, and I hope will be a terrific Sunset Magazine story for this coming December.
3. Describe the wackiest story you’ve written.
Probably an interview/profile of a dashing Brit big-game hunter who had spent his career shooting lions in Africa and tigers in India and who had been brought to the U.S. by some wealthy Oregonians who wanted him to prove that Sasquatch aka Bigfoot really did live in the northwest woods. He convinced me that it was possible. At least while he was talking to me. After the interview was over, not so much.
4. What is your PR pet peeve?
Email pitches from people who clearly have no idea of what my magazine, which covers travel, gardening, home design and food in the Western U.S., publishes articles on. Pitches on new lines of makeup, on resorts in the Caribbean and new shows in Branson, Missouri. On the other hand, one PR email I look forward to is my daily update from the Arizona Department of Transportation, such as today’s: U.S. 60 passing lane project east of Superior starts this week. Don’t ask me why I like these. I don’t know.
5. Top trend in the industry you’re currently covering or are interested in.
Digital, clearly. How do we take what’s best about our printed physical magazine and make it work brilliantly on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
6. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Grew up in Southern California and Utah, live now in SF, have worked at Sunset for a long time, like 25 years. I’ve always felt lucky because I landed my dream job early and have stayed with it. I love traveling, I love the American West—its landscapes, its diverse inhabitants, and its history—and I love to write. Working at Sunset has given me the chance to indulge all these passions, and even get paid (a little) to do so.
Questions or comments for Peter? Leave a comment below or send an email to [email protected].

7 thoughts on “Meet the Media – Peter Fish, Editor-at-Large at Sunset Magazine

  1. Peter – after reading (and loving) your travel articles in Sunset for lo these many years, what an honor it is to have you grace LCI’s humble blog. The next time you travel to Alaska, let me know: I’ve had relatives there for more than 30 years and they will roll out the proverbial red carpet (and Reindeer sausage) for you! Cheers, David

  2. Thanks for the great blog Peter! I also love to travel and it’s fantastic that you have found work in an area you are so passionate about!

  3. Thanks for your post, Peter. We’re big Sunset readers here at LCI. I’ll look forward to reading your piece in the December issue on wood bison, especially now I know it was one of your dream assignments!

  4. Peter,
    I agree – Alaska is a great place to visit. It’s majestic expanse gives one a sense of how great “untouched by man” can be. I really enjoy Sunset and look forward to the December issue on Alaska.

  5. Peter,
    I am sure you hear this a lot, but you really do have the dream job!

  6. Bravo, Peter Fish. I’m so glad you have an artistic outlet for your wild mind and adventurous spirit. Sally forth, and thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

  7. Just read “Battle Ground” in the May 2017 Sunset. Your mention of your experience of the hostile greeting at a Sierra Nevada cafe of you and Martin Litton reminded me of my and my wife’s experience of meeting him on our Dory trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River over 10 years ago.
    We are environmentally conscientious, but, live in an area that is habitable because of the dams on the Willamette River. Prior the to construction of the dams Eugene, Oregon was known as Skinner’s Mud Hole because the river flooded the town on a regular basis. We were not prepared for the wonderful and enlightened discussions we had with Martin Litton and many other very environmentally active participants, most of whom were River Guides – definitely changed our perspective – the Army Corps of Engineers are all about building things – not so much about preserving things.

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