Grind Media’s Senior Vice President and Group Publisher Norb Garrett is driving North on I-5 from Carlsbad back to the office in San Clemente, California. He’s riding in the passenger seat of a Honda that is nearly out of gas when we finally catch him on the phone.
We know the car is running on empty because twice during the call he interrupts to ask the driver if they are going to make it. Being stranded by the side of the road in Southern California’s last bit of undeveloped wilderness would be a crazy way to finish off what has likely been a long day for Garrett, but as usual, he doesn’t seem too worried.
Earlier today (May 20, 2013) Grind Media announced to employees and later to the press that they had purchased their number one long-time competitor Transworld Media (publisher of Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Snowboarding, Transworld Surf, Transworld BMX, Transworld Motocross, and Transworld Business). The deal has made Grind the “largest action sports media company in the world.” This is obviously a big deal in our world, especially in an era when some (okay, us) would argue that investing in print media brands is a pretty bad idea. Garrett, however, is quick to correct us and state that today’s transaction was not a “magazine” purchase.
“We didn’t buy print assets,” he says. “We bought great brands. What we’re attempting to do is leverage these brands and the quality content that they produce to help us play a more important role in growing our markets, engaging our audience, helping our advertisers grow their businesses, and luring new advertising to take advantage of the scale.”
Continue reading ‘The Drive Home With Grind Media’s Norb Garrett’
The action sports media chickens have finally come home to one big Southern California roost as we’re getting reports that Source Interlink’s action sports, adventure, and lifestyle group Grind Media a.k.a. Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder, has purchased Transworld Media (all the titles except Wakeboarding) from the Florida based Bonnier Corp while at the same time selling them nine motorcycle magazines (according to a post on Media Bistro) including Motorcyclist, Sport Rider, Dirt Rider, Motorcycle Cruiser, Hot Bike, Baggers, Super Streetbike, Street Chopper and ATV Rider. It looks more like a title swap than anything else.
Bonnier CEO Dave Freygang was in Transworld’s Carlsbad, California offices this morning (May 20, 2013) along with Grind Media Senior Vice President, Group Publisher Norb Garrett to communicate the changes in store for the company.
Just last week Freygang was quoted in Folio as saying that Bonnier’s previous title offloadings “should not be taken as the dismantling of the company.” And, to be fair, this latest transaction resulted in a net gain of two magazine titles for Bonnier.
The question that on many people’s minds is what will Source do with the titles. Transworld Motocross would be a great addition, and Transworld BMX could be a good fit as well. The organizational fun will come with the board sports magazines. Source now owns Surf, Surfer, and Surfing, along with Skateboarder and Skateboarding, and Snowboarder and Snowboarding. Figuring out how all those brands sort out could take a while, or, sadly take no time at all. Currently, it appears that Grind Media has no plans to change much at Transworld. But to keep running the magazines as they are.
As for Transworld Media, this is just one more sale for a publishing company that has remained surprisingly resilient through five changes in ownership in the last 18 years (today’s announcement makes it six).
Follow the jump for the official word from Grind Media.
[Editors' Note: The details of this story will be continually updated as our information improves. We apologize in advance.]
Volcom has created a new position for Mandy Fry. She will be the vice present of women’s. Women’s what? We’re guessing with her year of experience in design (most recently 12 years at Billabong) she’ll be running everything at VeeCo that has anything to do with women.
“With Mandy leading the women’s division we are now fully equipped to build on an important part of our business. We see an incredible opportunity to further develop our women’s program on a global level,” said Jason Steris, CEO of Volcom. “Mandy’s creative vision and business insight is just what we need to take Volcom women’s to the next level. We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have her join the Volcom team.”
We’re expecting some great things for girls at Volcom in the coming year. Watch out! For the official word from Volcom, follow the jump.
Bonnier Corp, the parent company of Transworld Media, has apparently sold two more of its magazine titles. A little over a week ago they sold Ski, Skiing, and Warren Miller Entertainment. This week they’ve sold their parenting magazines to publisher Meredith, according to a story on Folio.com.
Meredith today announced it acquired the Parenting and Babytalk brands from Bonnier. The two magazines will effectively be absorbed into Meredith’s existing Parents and American Baby brands. . . Following the deal, subscribers of Parenting and Babytalk will begin getting Parents and American Baby instead starting with the September issues.
And while there is still no talk of selling Transworld Media, and President Dave Freygang assures the industry that the recent slew of title offloading “should not be taken as the dismantling of the company,” a spokesman for Bonnier is reported as saying that “the company will continue to review opportunities for further rightsizing as well as acquisitions.” Rightsizing? Yeah, that means selling more stuff doesn’t it?
Kilwag, that smarty pants editor of Skate And Annoy, linked up a great story from Salon.com by Matt Reevy titled: Authenticity and the X Games: Why ESPN just doesn’t get it. In it Reevy gets right down to the heart of the action sports/mainstream media conundrum. We’ve always said that the mainstream doesn’t care, won’t care, and never has cared about action sports. But Reevy makes a much more complete, compelling argument:
Essentially, what ESPN seems to miss,, is that that the statement “I am a skateboarder” is a far different one than “I am a basketball player”. There’s no such thing as the best skateboarder, BMX rider, snowmobiler, skier, or snowboarder. Placing in the X Games is a reflection of a high level of skill, certainly, but it doesn’t make you the best.
Reevy finishes his article off with the statement that Shaun White is neither a snowboarder nor a skateboarder, “he just happens to ride them. Until that changes, no one is going to care about the X Games, regardless of where they’re held.”
While we’d never take anything away from Mr. White’s snowboarding and skateboarding, the larger point is made — X Games? Who really cares? Aside from the people who are getting paid, no one.
Based on the reviews we received after the first LAUNCH last year, showcasing emerging California lifestyle brands is important. . . We will continue to evaluate the best way to highlight these brands in a venue that maximizes all the resources that GLM brings to the table.
So no July show this summer. Wonder how long this “hold” will last, because we enjoyed the show last year.
While we were all awaiting news of the pending Billabong takeover by Paul Naude today (May 9, 2013), the company has requested that their trading halt continue even longer. Here’s what Billabong said in their release:
The securities of Billabong International Limited (the “Company”) will be suspended from quotation immediately, at the request of the Company, pending an announcement with regard to possible transactions affecting the Company, including in connection with the bid process announced on 14 January 2013.
In other words, they’ll let us know when they want to let us know. Until then, there’s no getting out. Oh, and it also looks like VF Corp is back in the buyout mix (Wall Street Jounrnal link via Tiffany) now that Naude’s “exclusivity” period has ended. Wonder how much more time they will need?
Billabong has placed a “trading halt” on their stock while the action sports fashion world anxiously awaits news of former US Billabong President Paul Naude’s takeover or kickout.
In a statement Billabong said:
Unless ASX decides otherwise, the securities will remain in Trading Halt Session State until the commencement of normal trading on Thursday, 9 May 2013, or when the announcement is released to the market.
It won’t be long now. We’re guessing the takeover will roll right through the approval process.
In the big snowboard agent world, this is likely news. Carl Harris, the former President of Ookii Co Athlete Management & Marketing has joined the action sports division of IMG and has brought Ayumu Hirano and Kazu Kokubo with him.
Harris joins IMG from Ookii Co Athlete Management and Marketing where he served as President for the past three years. Previously, Harris spent three years as Vice President of Business Development at VAS Entertainment. Prior to that, Harris spent five years at Viacom’s MTV Network. Harris has also held positions at Swatch Group, Burton Snowboards, and as Supervising Producer and Director for Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom HuckJam.
Now it all makes sense.
[Link: Wall Street Journal]
Nielsen (owners of the Outdoor Retailer and Interbike tradeshows under their Nielsen Expositions wing) got what appears to be a pretty clean exit from the tradeshow business today when they sold Nielsen Exhibitions to a Canadian private equity fund (Onex Coproration) for $950 million, according to a post on Rapaport.
“This is an exciting development in the history of the Nielsen Expositions business,” said David Loechner, the president of Nielsen Expositions. “Onex’ experience and successful track record in executing similar corporate carve-outs and building those divisions into industry-leading businesses position it as a strong partner. We look forward to working with Onex to execute our strategic plan and to continue to grow the business to better serve the exhibitors and attendees who participate in our events, all the while providing a seamless, business-as-usual transition for our clients and associates.”
Wonder who Onex is going to sell it to next year?