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Commentary: Is This Any Way to Ruin a Magazine?

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Old 12-26-2011, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Trulio View Post
Obviously, with speedonthewater.com and the work I've done for Boats.com for the past 12 years I "believe" in the internet. However, at least as special interest magazines go, I have to respectfully disagree. There is still demand for them.

It's worth noting that radio was supposed to "kill" print and didn't, and television was supposed to kill radio and didn't and cable channels were supposed to kill the networks and didn't. But did one "new" and growing medium effect the one that preceeded it? No question.

But that's a bigger discussion.
I agree with Matt! I still love the print version and collect them. If you look at other special interest magazines like Dupont, Muscle Mags, Mustangs, Guns, etc they have all gotten bigger and bigger. I also love the internet but will never stop buying the print versions. I still look forward to getting my new issues in the mail after 20 years. I will stick with Performance Boat Mag, SportBoat, OSO, and I do really like the updates on Speed on the water. Thanks Matt.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:13 PM
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Got my latest(and last) PB Sat in the mail(Christmas Eve) Actually a pretty good issue. I will miss it. Good luck to those who lost their jobs,they certainly tried.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:20 PM
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I can't pass up this opportunity to honor the memory of Bob Nordskog, the guy who put his money where his heart was and bought Powerboat (along with a couple of other boating titles) back in 1968 and continued to publish the magazine on a monthly basis until his passing in 1992. A boat racer to the core and a polarizing figure to be sure (you either liked him or you didn't), Nordskog kept Powerboat going through the good times and the bad, in spite of repeated advice and prodding from his financial team that Powerboat was an endless money pit and the magazine needed to be put down. Needless to say, Nordskog never listened, and the performance boating industry and boat racing were infinitely better for it. I was Powerboat's executive editor for nearly six years, 68 issues delivered on time plus 7 special event guides. Only once in those six years did the magazine show a net profit (less than $10,000) for the year. Bob's advice to me was always the same, "This thing doesn't have to make any money, but just don't let it lose too much either." I guess Powerboat's new owners weren't cut from the same cloth.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:44 PM
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-Was a long time subscriber, have a bunch of binders going back to '78. I quit PB several years ago when it became one big Teague ad. That guy was on every page. Not a fan.
Pretty much nailed it. My first issue was in '77 or '78 when the Wellcraft Nova was the boat of the year. Subscribed for almost 30 years, and I sensed things started going down hill a few years after Elhert took over. No offense to anyone on board then, but I too felt it did just turn into a Teague catalog. I let my subscription expire a few years ago. I think I still have 10 to 20 years worth in boxes somewhere. Too bad, Bob has to be rolling in his grave...
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:03 PM
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Pretty much nailed it. My first issue was in '77 or '78 when the Wellcraft Nova was the boat of the year. Subscribed for almost 30 years, and I sensed things started going down hill a few years after Elhert took over. No offense to anyone on board then, but I too felt it did just turn into a Teague catalog. I let my subscription expire a few years ago. I think I still have 10 to 20 years worth in boxes somewhere. Too bad, Bob has to be rolling in his grave...
I cannot speak for the dead nor would I ever presume to, but I can tell you that, by all accounts, Bob Nordskog loved Bob Teague like a son. I did not know Bob Nordskog—he died the year before I was hired at Powerboat—but I do know Bob Teague and I know he took a promise he had made to Bob Nordskog, the promise of doing everything he could to keep the magazine going shortly before Nordskog died, very seriously.

Bob Teague wrote Teague on Tech, which was the most popular element the magazine ever had. Bob Teague was the magazine's lead test driver, so naturally he was pictured in many of the boats, especially the higher-end models because he, along with John Tomlinson (who came later) were two of the few people the builders trusted with their big-buck, huge power cats and V-bottoms. Frankly, and I know I speak for a lot of my former co-workers, I would not have wanted the responsibility of docking, much less driving, anything with a paint job worth more than my car.

Some of the boats Powerboat tested had Teague engines. I am not saying that didn't present a conflict that we, as a team, did our best to mitigate. I am saying that boats with those engines were far outnumbered by boats with other engines, particularly those from Mercury Racing.

For the record, Bob's "payment" for all the work he did for Powerboat over the years, all the time he spent on the road away from his own business, was in advertising trade. So if you saw a lot of his ads, it's because he did a lot of work to earn them.

No disrespect taken as a former Powerboat "employee" (I've actually been an independent contractor for the past 12 years), but I just want you to have the facts.

Last edited by Matt Trulio; 12-27-2011 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:24 PM
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Remedial question, as I have zero experience in any industry relating to magazines etc. However, I would imagine that with the economic level and devoted readership of many offshore boat owners and fans a magazine could be produced to a scale that would allow a "small" profit (my small profit is probably very much then yours), Does that sound accurate?

Reason I ask is becasue there are a number of "micro" publications out there that at least break even and much smaller sport/interest mags that I believe make small profits.

I'm inclined to beleive that one of the many reasons Powerboat failed was becasue its was owend/bought by a large conglomerate, that has significat overhead/staff/saleries etc.
Please advise if Im way off base?
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:31 PM
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Got a new issue in the mail today,,,,guess its the last one
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:48 AM
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More insult to injury!

I received this email on Christmas day and it shows powerboat available as a digital subscription. This of course is not true and you find this out only when you click on the link!


Third time this week I got that same bulls*t e-mail regarding the digital subscription for a magazine that does not exist, WTF!
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:12 AM
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Three observations:

Matt, I respect what Bob Teague has done for our sport but "Teague on Tech" was used an awful lot to push his products. He suckered me into buying a set of CMI Sporttubes for my old 496 with his ridiculous claims of speed increases. (I saw zero gain)

Isn't it fraud to continue to solicit subscriptions to a magazine that they know no longer exists and will be switched over to "Boating" mag?

I agree that print is not dead. I enjoy reading a magazine in bed or on the boat or anywhere. An i-pad just isn't the same. This is why I have not subscribed to performance boats; Not enough print issues and if I want to read on the internet there is an endless supply of free material.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:57 PM
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Still sorry to see the mag stop but if this one I received today which is the Feb. issue it is a good one to end on. I think Performance Boat is 6 issues which I think Powerboat is/was. I get Performance Boat and pick up Sportboat at B&N when it's out. Hope to see Sportboat become a subscription soon.
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