Transworld Surf is currently working on its last print issue. The new owners, Grind Media, who purchased the company a month ago has said that they didn’t think it was feasible to run three surf magazines. The website will continue and they will asses how it goes without the print magazine to support it… If they’d like a peek into the future, I know someone they can talk to. In an interview with Grind Media owned Transworld Business, Group Publisher Norb Garrett said;
“The first question everybody in the industry asked us was “can you do three surf mags?” That was a question we needed to answer first before we did anything else. While we could have on day one just closed TW Surf, which would have made a lot of sense to a lot of people, I really felt that we owed the brand and the market an opportunity for us to understand more about how the brand fit into the space. That was information we couldn’t get until after we had the brand and could have the conversations with advertisers, people in the industry, and even people outside the industry. Over the last month we spent a lot of time asking that question and the answer we came up with was no.“
Now, the next obvious question is “can you do two surf mags?” Or skate mags. Or snow mags. Garrett says “This is simply a case of a very crowded market – we knew it at acquisition and so did the industry.” Which could be read as going against his original statement to Boardistan where he talked about the benefits of scale and the ability to compete with each other in less destructive ways. No mention then of a crowded market.
There’s no saying what the end game is for Grind but if you look at the trend of publishers worldwide, even the behemoths who have all the benefits of scale are cutting back titles. Grind is now running
19 18 print magazines – if they buck the trend and make it work, it’ll be amazing.