Those who know Peggy Carr Tatum know the irony that her initials spell in reverse the acronym of her TCP Magazine and its parent company, The Connection Place, really isn’t so ironic at all.
“Peggy and TCP are the same thing,” said Donna Corbett, a longtime friend-turned-colleague whose business, Amazing Grace Etiquette, shares a Midtown office with Tatum’s small business resource center and magazine. “TCP really focuses on folks who wouldn’t have a voice to get information out, especially in the Christian community.
“She helps to connect people who normally would not have the opportunity to network and get the information they need to be successful,” she said. “Amazing Grace Etiquette and Donna Corbett wouldn’t be where we are now if I had not met Peggy Tatum.”
This weekend, TCP Magazine celebrates its decade of publishing with a three-day bash that begins Friday at 7 p.m. at the Hilton North Raleigh-Midtown. The 10th Anniversary Gala is a reunion of people who have graced the pages of 38 issues of the magazine in feature stories or as advertisers.
Other Midtown figures invited to the Anniversary Gala Reunion include Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown; Waymond Burton, founder of the Ezra Conference Center in Tower Shopping Center; the Rev. Joe L. Stevenson, pastor of Macedonia New Life Church on Rock Quarry Road; and several Hometown Heroes honored by TCP Magazine and Fayetteville’s gospel radio station WIDU-1600 AM for their community service.
The days can’t pass fast enough for the Rev. Phillip Brickle, Midtown’s 2013 Hometown Hero, who leads food and clothing ministries serving Wake County’s homeless residents.
“I’m consistent and I’m a communicator, and that’s what I see happening with TCP Magazine,” said Brickle. “We’ve been connecting and sharing and it’s been really, really great. I like that. I appreciate it.”
Sharing good news
Tatum launched TCP Magazine in 2004 as an all gospel magazine “to share the good news happening in African- American communities.” She said of her vision was sparked by a nightly news segment of 16 stories, all “bad news.”
“I wanted to counter that…, so I stepped out on faith,” she said.
Today, TCP is a nationally-recognized gospel magazine catering to music, ministry and faith-based businesses.
“One of the things I pride myself with doing is connecting people with who they need and the resources they need,” Tatum added. “Anytime I have an event, we try to make sure somebody goes home connected with somebody they need.”
Ten years in magazine publishing is a rare milestone. It’s estimated that among magazines published in the U.S., about 60 percent survive only a year. By the fourth year, only 20 percent remain and only 10 percent are left by the 10-year mark.
“Peggy is a running rolodex of connections,” said Terry Spicer, Tatum’s friend, colleague and publicist. “The tentacles of her heart and her magazine wrap everybody up in fine fashion with connections that really change the face and the course of what they’re doing, and she never worries about how it’s going to affect her.
“That has blessed her magazine to have staying power, and that’s why TCP Magazine will continue to evolve and remain a front-runner in the industry.”
The 10th Anniversary celebration continues Saturday with "Coming Home," a gospel concert featuring gospel recording artist Lucinda Moore and choirs from across the state. The concert will be held at New Providence Baptist Church in Fuquay-Varina.
The anniversary finale is a Super Bowl Party from 5:30-11 p.m. at the Balm Christian Restaurant and Lounge off Rock Quarry Road. Tatum is pulling for the Seahawks, but welcomes 49ers fans, too.
Consistency yields success
For Tatum and TCP Magazine, three years in the industry brought recognition and awards.
In 2007 and 2008, Tatum won the North Carolina Gospel Announcers Guild’s Print Media of the Year award. That repeat has been followed by at least one each year, including the 2012 Raleigh African American Chamber of Commerce Business Award.
“I’ve never really been after my name being known,” Tatum said. “I just want to make a difference in the lives of people, to elevate people.
“If they get higher, all they have to do is pull me up with them.”
Tatum credits her longevity to the very opposite of what sinks many publications: she’s stuck with her original focus and audience, distributes through the masses, not in stores, and she keeps advertising affordable.
Corbett credits something else.
“People can feel the heart of the magazine, and that’s Peggy Tatum,” she said. “That’s the difference. TCP will be around for a long time.”