Did American Media Just Buy TEN?

by The Editors on January 31, 2019

American Media, the parent corporation of Men’s Journal, Radar, US Weekly and more famously the National Enquirer (you know, the company run by Donald Trump’s friend David Pecker) is reportedly purchasing all the action sporting brands from TransWorld Skateboarding, SnowboardingSnowboarder, and Surfer Magazine’s parent company The Enthusiast Network. TEN employees were apparently informed today (January 31, 2019) during an all-hands meeting at TEN’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California. 

According to reports the new owners sent the staff of Transworld Snowboarding, Snowboarder, and Powder magazines home from the OR/Snow Show in Denver, Colorado as quickly as they’d arrived.

Things may not be looking all that bright for current TEN employees. As one media executive who is not involved with either company told us, “I would assume this is going to be brutal. American Media has tons of debt, so I doubt they’re going to invest in anything. They probably see synergies and cost-cutting as a quick way to shape up the bottom line.”

According to a post on Transworld Motocross’s website (which has since been taken down) the magazine has been shuttered. Here is the entire note from TWMX’s Donn Maeda:

I founded TransWorld Motocross in November of 2000. At the time, the motocross magazine marketplace was crowded and we were the eighth title joining in on the fun. It was an exciting time, paired with my good friend Garth Milan and teamed with Revolution Advertising – a freelance agency that laid out the magazine – we built the foundation for what would become the world’s best-selling motocross magazine within only a matter of months.

It’s hard to cover all the highlights that I’ve enjoyed over the past two decades… there have been too many. We’ve produced over a dozen great motocross movies, successfully launched the largest local race series on the west coast…heck we even had a one-year stint helping produce TransWorld Motocross Japan. Most of all, the memories I treasure most are of all the places I’ve visited and the friends I’ve made. Watching racers I’ve met as mini riders grow up, rise through the ranks, and go on to be champions, has been a privilege…

Today, our parent company was purchased by another media entity that sadly, has no interest in moving forward with TransWorld Motocross, in spite of our overall success and profitability. That said, our magazine, web site, and race series are on hold. I say hold, because the same group of dedicated editors and salesmen who have built this brand alongside me are still committed to creating the same great content. We are actively working on a plan to resume business as usual.
So, as cliché as it sounds, this is not a goodbye…it’s a see ya’ soon!

Stab Mag has some inside scoop from TEN’s Surfer Mag side that goes something like this:

All up, more than 50 percent of TEN’s staff was culled, which was reportedly part of the deal between TEN and AM. In other words, if TEN wanted to be bought by AM, they’d have to slash a significant number of employees first. . . Included in the termination was the renowned South African photojournalist, and the magazine’s longtime Photo Editor, Grant Ellis, who spent nearly two decades under the Surfer Mag banner, and worked through its most successful years, often putting out 200+ page mags each month through the mid-’00s.. . Writer Ben Waldron, sales manager Brent Reilly, and long-time publisher Tony Perez were also reportedly laid off from Surfer’s staff, along with dozens more employees from TEN’s other publications. . .“It was shocking,” said a source from the Carlsbad office. “It was like the whole building got the air sucked out of it.”

Anyone who thinks this shocking, doesn’t know the history at TEN. The brands involved have been through decades of interesting times not much different from today. Yes, it is hard on the employees who get cut, but it seems the brands will live to fight a few more battles before this whole action sports media thing is over.

Forbes had the following story up for a minute, took it down, and now it’s back up with all the quotes.

New owner. New people. New plans. Have a great weekend, ya’ll. Oh, and if you’d like to read the official press release from American Media about their purchase, please follow the jump.

AMERICAN MEDIA, LLC ACQUIRES THE ADVENTURE SPORTS NETWORK FROM TEN: PUBLISHING
NEW YORK, February 1, 2019 – American Media, LLC, a leading publisher of celebrity journalism, health and fitness, and lifestyle brands, today announced that it acquired the media assets comprising TEN: Publishing’s Adventure Sports Network (ASN). The addition of the ASN brands to American Media will bolster the American Media Active Lifestyle Group, which will now include the 14 adventure and sports brands including Bike, Powder, Surfer, the Transworld titles, and Snowboarder. The acquisition also includes management of the Dew Tour, one of the action sports industry’s marquee event series.

“The opportunity to merge the incredible ASN brands with our recent acquisition of Men’s Journal establishes a significant digital network and underscores American Media’s commitment to diversifying our brand offerings and revenue streams,” said American Media Chairman and CEO David J. Pecker. “I am confident that under the management of the Men’s Journal leadership, the addition of ASN’s incredible digital and social scale will be important factors in our continued growth and success.”

With the addition of the ASN brands, the American Media Active Lifestyle Group significantly increases its digital footprint. Combined with Men’s Journal, the group will now deliver more than 35 million social media fans and followers. Additionally, the ASN brands have proven to be among the most effective at engaging a millennial audience with video, delivering more than 60 million monthly views across their brands.

“ASN’s brands – focused on deep passion and engagement from their readership – are an extraordinary compliment to Men’s Journal,” said Men’s Journal Chief Content Officer Greg Emmanuel. “Our audience places a premium on high-quality, compelling content, and the new brands will help to further establish us as the ultimate destination for sports and adventure content.”

In addition to the publishing brands, American Media will also acquire a robust roster of experiential events and assume management of the Dew Tour, which hosted approximately 84,000 young, passionate fans at its events in Long Beach, CA and Breckenridge, CO last year. In addition to the Dew Tour, the ASN brands execute several consumer experiential, content-driven and sports-specific events.

Norb Garrett, President of ASN, said, “ASN has built a portfolio of the most enduring brands in the adventure sports media landscape. Under American Media’s leadership, we will continue to grow our multi-platform reach across digital, social, print, and experiential events.”

Kevin Mullan, President of TEN: Publishing, said, “We are excited for ASN to now be part of the American Media platform. TEN: Publishing looks forward to continuing to provide our audience with the highest-quality content as we focus our resources across our leading automotive titles.”

The Raine Group served as exclusive financial advisor to TEN: Publishing. Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal counsel to TEN: Publishing.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Pecker is a Pecker January 31, 2019 at 3:58 pm

What about BIKEMAG?

Former TEN Employee February 1, 2019 at 9:02 am

End of an era. Print has been a dying medium since the 1995 when the internet exploded. Any magazine not turning a profit will be axed, or whittled down to an online source only. Lots of people are being let go immediately.

Ben Marcus February 2, 2019 at 11:10 am

American Media should reinstate the Dream Team. Any combination of Jeff Divine, Joni Casimiro, Steve Hawk, Dave Carson and Randy in the warehouse.

intern_angry February 2, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Ahhh… The moment you realize an intern in NYC can check Pro’s Instagrams. Share the most liked images and say Link in Bio!

Rider generated content, self run youtube channels and social media aggregators killed the magazine.

Ben Marcus February 14, 2019 at 4:51 pm

The fact that Surfer Magazine was ever part of TEN or any under massive corporate umbrella is just stupid. In the 1990s, Surfer was owned by a concrete magnate who owned For Better Living Inc. We operated out of a building in Capo Beach and they left us alone and it was a good crew – Holmes. Warshaw, Pezman, Divine, Servais, Gilley, Hawk, Jeff Girard, Steve Barilotti, Joni C, Dave Carson – and a good magazine, put out by creative, talented people ,who knew what they were doing and weren’t overseen and interfered with by a bunch of marketing dorks.

And now then it went Peterson in 1998 then some credit card company – and Surfer was in some anonymous building in the back of beyond in San Clemente with low ceilings and no windows.

And just the fact that Surfer and Surfing were under the same corporate umbrella was an abomination before God.

And then it ended up with TEN and now they have sold it to the evil empire of AMI who are about to get their tits sued off for openly trying to extort the richest man in the world.

Stick a fork in Surfer Magazine – it’s done.

No surf magazine should ever be under some corporate umbrella – and certainly not one run by Trump cronies.

I agree with this dude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMGz3sXRhvE

If you want to see a real surf magazine, walk into The Surfer’s Journal.

Ben Marcus February 14, 2019 at 5:23 pm

Hopfully this David Pecker guy will be given the electric chair. Not just for trying to blackmail Jeff Bezos, but for using marketing newspeak like this:

“The opportunity to merge the incredible ASN brands with our recent acquisition of Men’s Journal establishes a significant digital network and underscores American Media’s commitment to diversifying our brand offerings and revenue streams,” said American Media Chairman and CEO David J. Pecker. “I am confident that under the management of the Men’s Journal leadership, the addition of ASN’s incredible digital and social scale will be important factors in our continued growth and success.”

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