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Commentary: Is This Any Way to Ruin a Magazine?

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Old 12-30-2011, 08:55 PM
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Got the Feb 2012 issue today. What a shame...it's the final issue of Powerboat and the two boat tests are a bowrider and a center console. The rest of the issue was pretty good, though (admittedly, I flip right to the boat tests). I hate to complain about something that good people worked hard at producing, through difficult times no less, but this issue was not a proper send off (not that it was expected to be, I'm sure).

Good luck to the entire Powerboat staff.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by C_Spray View Post
Right on the money, both Eric and Matt. While we once-loyal readers have taken a minor hit in our wallets, the hard-working writers and editors of Powerboat have been treated far worse.

Shame on you, Bonnier - classless and clueless...
Well said.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:05 PM
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Matt, I've got a great deal of respect for your years of contributions, which is exactly why I footnoted my post as such. And, I personal have no issues with Teague either - certainly a knowledgeable guy and has earned his stripes countless times over.

However, the point I was merely trying to make as being a subscriber for likely longer than anyone around, I noticed a drastic difference in the spotlight given Teague over the years, and while perhaps earned, it absolutely became a distration and caused me to question the publications objectivity. I felt the same regarding a handful of others as well, that seemed to get special attention. During the early years while Bob N. was around, I have no clue what kind of a deal Bob T. got, but you certainly didn't see Teague's name on every couple of pages. He got his mentions, but it wasn't overboard.

The bottom-line is, part of the credibility of a publication of this sort is maintaining the perception of an unbiased, arms length realtionship with all players, which I suppose can be a tough thing with tight budgets, etc. I cannot pretend to know the inside scoop of how things really worked behind the scenes, but many of my hard earned dollars were spent over the years as a result of what I read there.

Unfortunately, after my subscription expired in Feb '07, one year short of 30, I had by then come to the conclusion that the magazine wasn't worth the cost of a renewal. All I can do is share why I felt that way. Again, it's all about objectivity and balance, imho.

Have a great New Years, and good luck with your future endeavors.
Over the years, I have read many comments along the lines of "knowing how things really work at Powerboat." Oddly, or not so, I know pretty much everyone who has actually worked there during the past 16 years.

And yet ... this is the most insightful set of observations "from the outside" I have ever read. I cannot argue with anything Mr. Magloo has observed in terms of perceptions. These perceptions, as you can imagine, were frequent topics of discussion during my tenure with the magazine.

In the end, you strive toward a balance between journalists with a working knowledge of subject and experts with a working knowledge of journalism. The best niche consumer magazines have both and, as you'd expect, there are often conflicts between the two groups.

My hope for you, Mr. Magloo, and my hope for all of you, is that you find most of what you need (for all of what you need is an unrealistic expectation) in one form of media (online, print, etc.) or another. On my end, I can promise you this: I'll do my best to walk the line.

Happy New Year.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:59 AM
  #44
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It seems the bottom line is always money. Costs make the decision. To open, to close, to change format.

We all began to notice as the momentum to "go online" increased year after year in everything from "You get to check your bank balance and do business anytime you want!!!" to ordering pizza or movie tickets online. Even to make doctor's appointments. Online operation allows business to downsize. To fire humans and save money. To save distribution costs of a physical product like print media. To keep doors open that would otherwise close. (or is it to keep COO and CEO salaries in the $1-3M range at the expense of lower tier personnel?)

At any rate, print media will all but end over the next decade. From the CEO to the greenhouse goonie all support for print has been lost. Good bye Powerboat Magazine, and the host of others to follow. Hello iPad, Nook, Google readers and all the rest that will be marketed as the era of impermanence continues unabated. Perhaps artists can learn to paint on canvasses that rotate their works like a modern billboard. My 0.02.
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