The End of Print At TransWorld Media

by The Editors on March 5, 2019

In letters to subscribers that began arriving in mailboxes the week of March 3, 2019, American Media Inc, the current owner of TransWorld Skateboarding and Snowboarding magazines announced that both publications will “no longer be published.” Adding insult to insanity, the company also promised to fulfill remaining subscriptions to the legacy titles with copies of their recently acquired (June 2017) magazine Men’s Journal. 

Founded in 1983 by Tracker Trucks owner Larry Balma and Peggy Cozens, Transworld Media built a place where creative kids could flourish mostly undisturbed by outside forces. Aside from helping to usher in the modern board sports era and making skateboarding and snowboarding central to mass youth culture, TransWorld also served as a launch pad for innumerable success stories in fashion, design, photography, music, and filmmaking. Simply put Transworld’s contributions to pop culture cannot be overstated. 

As expected the news lit up social media with eulogies, remembrances, and words of thanks for the part both magazines played in lives of millions. Athletes, artistsmagazine editorsphotographers, designers, legendsTV personalities, brand owners, and even sports agents praised the magazines and lamented the end of what was a really good run.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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@transworldskate 1983-2019 I Helped from Issue #1 back in 1983 and worked there as Photo Editor and Senior Photographer until leaving in 2003. Before computers, internet, phones, podcasts, live-streaming ,etc, Skate Mags and Zines were the only way to see and share what was going on in Skateboarding around the world. We would work on an article or interview for months and skaters would have to wait to get their Skate Fix in the mailbox and then they would pass it on. Readers would study each photo and read every word and soak it in and never forget it. Covers were a big thing, Centerspreads too. Transworld grew organically over time from the tiny black and white amateurish rag into a thick high quality and collectible magazine. The page count varied with the financial ups and downs and popularity of skateboarding, but it always came around, that’s Skateboarding. The digital revolution has taken its toll on all Print, humans just don’t get their news and entertainment from print anymore and they want it Immediately. Hey, time marches on and hopefully future skaters will get creative and produce compelling stories, magazines, books, art, photography and music that need to be felt, held and listened to. Cheers to all of the people that worked on Transworld Skateboarding Magazine and thanks to Larry Balma and Peggy Cozens for taking a chance and starting it. TWS supported a lot of families over the years, we can’t forget that. Sorry to see something with such a Legacy go. This April, 1986 Cover is of @lancemountain in Stockholm, Sweden, Summer, 1985. Photo: Brittain #transworldskateboardingmagazine #transworldskate #larrybalma #peggycozens #skatemagazines #skateboardingmagazine #skatezines #skateboardingisfun #lancemountain #jgrantbrittain

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When we mentioned to a publishing executive that this must be what it feels like to outlive an era, he replied, “I think the era we have outlived is the era of niche media as corporate commodity. Doesn’t seem to work so well.”

And that is true. Independent action media brands like Thrasher Magazine and The Snowboarder’s Journal continue to thrive in print, suggesting that the end of print at TransWorld may have more to do with corporate greed/overhead than anything else. Then again, we have yet to see anyone under the age of 30 lamenting the news, so there’s that as well.

As for the future, TransWorld Skateboarding will live on as a digital property (the staff has already begun posting “thanks, but we’re still here” to their social media streams) and sources tells us that management is working out the details on how and/or which of the company’s two snowboard brands will be preserved online rolling forward.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Thank you for all the love❤️❤️ While the subscription/newsstand based print mag is no longer, (sorry about that notice letter) TWS is still a brand with a crew here working on digital projects like: A feature length Daewon Song documentary out in May and other quality content on our website, youtube, and other social channels. Special Limited Print editions are being planned. Thank you to everyone that has worked here on the magazine over 36 years for all of your inspiration and dedication to skateboarding. And Thank You to all of our subscribers, readers and audience for the support and love through the years.❤️❤️ Onto the next chapter. -TWS crew

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We’d be more optimistic about Transworld’s digital future if it weren’t for AMI. Their reputation for always doing the wrong thing (along with their reportedly toxic CEO David Pecker) doesn’t bode well for the brands.

Through all the sadness we are cheered by the fact that these magazines lasted 20 years longer than we thought they would when we first began preaching the digital revolution. Good work. And, as this has all happened before (remember Skateboarder Magazine and Action Now?) we’re looking forward to what the next generation of creative kids will assemble out of the wreckage.

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