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.]
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.
Active Interest Media, run by former Times Mirror CFO Efrem Zimbalist III, Time4 Media SVP Andy Clurman and former DC Shoes and Transworld Media CEO Brian Sellstrom, announced today that they have purchased Ski Magazine, Skiing Magazine, and Warren Miller Entertainment from Transworld parent company Bonnier Corp. for an undisclosed amount according to a story in AdAge.com.
The magazines’ print business has diminished since Bonnier bought them from Time Inc. in 2007 as part of a $225 million deal for 18 enthusiast magazines. . . Ad pages fell 33.7% at Ski magazine last year, a steeper drop than the 8.2% decline across magazines as a whole, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. . . The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, also includes the rest of the company’s Mountain Group in Boulder, Colo.; . . . and Nastar, a recreational ski and snowboard racing program.
As one action media professional told old us on hearing the news: “Publishers have been using the “buy high sell low” method for the last dozen or so years.” And we’re guessing that trend is going to continue. It is odd, however, that Bonnier didn’t throw Transworld Media in with the purchase, but they probably believe they can milk a few more years of revenue out of the action sports industry before they need to dump it.
[Editors' Note: We assumed everyone would know, but the previously unwritten irony here is that Times Mirror used to own both magazines and Clurman and Sellstrom used to run them. So yeah, they're runnin' their tread mill after you, their runnin' their tread mill now.]
Now, thanks to a collaboration between Real Skateboards and Know Projects, Inc. (the minds behind Know Skateboarding) everyone can ad a little flavor to their social media photo posting with a new iPhone app called InstaReal. Just watch the edit, download the app, and start you can remind the world that people need to #mellowthefukout
Anyone who has ever watched the now classic episodes of Surfer Magazine TV (with host Sonny Miller) will remember the Opper Sports Productions name. Over the years founder Ira Opper (pictured right with Wingnut and a cameraman) has created loads and loads of action sports television programming. And now, the Del Mar Times has profiled Opper.
He was an early pioneer bringing beach volleyball and the concept of action sports to ESPN. He was one of the producers behind the first regional sports cable network that eventually became Fox Sports Prime Ticket. He has the largest surf film archive in the world — and he’s lived in Solana Beach for more than 30 years.
For the rest of the Opper story, click the link.
[Link: Del Mar Times]
In celebration of the Thrasher Magazine Death Match (March 15, 2013), Converse is releasing 240 pairs of this “limited-edition” Converse Texas CTS, apparently. Guess Orange is a big color in Texas sporting or something.
Performance features of the Converse Texas CTS include a molded, multi-density Lunarlon drop-in sockliner for extra comfort; abrasion-resistant suede; traction rubber vulcanized sole; and full memory foam in the collar and tongue for a true customized fit. . . Only 240 pairs of the Converse Texas CTS will be exclusively available in Texas and will be sold at Nice Kicks, Tekgnar, and Fast Forward for a suggested retail price of $65.
If only these things had a little, inset, white star on the side. We’d be all over them. Follow the jump for the official details. Continue reading ‘Converse + Thrasher = Texas CTS’
For decades Jack McCoy has been making some of the most beautiful surf films ever made, and now, for one night only, we all get a chance to see his most recent film A Deeper Shade of Blue in a real first-run theater. On March 28, 2013, Hawaiian Airlines is presenting the film in theaters around the country. To find a theater near you (and buy tickets) click here.
[Link: Deeper Shade of Blue]
Would someone really want a reality TV show about snowboarding park builders? Apparently, Chevrolet and Good Clean Fun think the amazing work that Snow Park Technologies does is worth it because they’re launching Mountain Movers sometime this spring on the National Geographic .
Reality Series stars Winter X Games course designer Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson and follows he and his crew as they construct massive, gravity-defying courses for Shaun White, Louie Vito, Danny Davis and more. Real-Life Drama of Athletes & Snow Course Designers in Harsh Conditions, Remote Locations, Battling Mother Nature in Epic Settings
Sound like a hit, right? We’re looking forward to a lot of Frank Wells up in this show, too.