The COVID-19 pandemic has taken yet another victim in the world of print media this time hitting the action and adventure sports industry
POWDER, Bike, Snowboarder, and Surfer magazines are all shutting down shop, possibly for good.
According to various sources, the parent company of POWDER, Bike, Snowboarder, and Surfer magazine’s, A360 Media, has furloughed the employees of the four magazines. This means the print and digital platforms of the magazine’s will all be suspended.
According to an article on Bike mag’s website posted on Oct. 5, their parent company A360 Media, told staff that Bike mag would be suspended, including all print and digital platforms and that staff would be furloughed indefinitely.
POWDER magazine’s editor in chief Sierra Shafer echoed similar painful uncertainties on Oct. 6 in a @Powdermagazine Instagram post.
“Effective November 20, our entire staff will be placed on an indefinite furlough when operations of the magazine, our website, and our social channels will be paused. We do not know if or when this hiatus will end,” read the caption on the post.
POWDER magazine will release two more issues, one of which being the popular photo annual.
“Beyond that, we don’t know what will become of POWDER,” read the instagram post.
Surfer magazine, another A360 Media action sport magazine, also fell due to the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the economy..
“No one thought that we were doing great, as far as business was going, especially since COVID hit. We had a lot of advertisers pulling back or pulling out completely,” Surfer magazine editor Todd Prodanovich told the New York Times.
A360 Media also cited impacts from the pandemic as the reason for shutting down the action and adventure sport magazines, according to the New York Times.
“Due to the pandemic’s economic impact on the industry and the cancellation of live events, staff furloughs and the suspension of operations for some brands are necessary for the time being.”
When asked about the likelihood of the continuation of Surfer magazine, Prodanovich had his doubts.
“In a perfect world, some benevolent rich dude who surfs and wants a new pet project would buy this thing away from A360 and revive it in some capacity, just so that it exits,” he told the New York Times.
While Snowboarder mag has yet to come out with an official statement (and hasn’t responded to requests from SPIN) about the suspension of their magazine, other action sports news and media companies, including Teton Gravity Research (TGR), speculated that Snowboarder mag’s fate is aboard the same sinking ship as Powder, Bike, and Surfer magazines.
“According to athletes and some staff at the four publications, the four titles are being shut down. It seems that Bike and Surfer staff were furloughed on Friday, Oct. 2 and Powder and Snowboarder (are) continuing until the end of the month,” TGR said on their website.
“If this is the end, we want to pass along a heartfelt thank you to all the photographers, writers and filmmakers who found a home within (Bike magazine) — Bike was nothing without the talent and personalities in its large extended family. And mostly, we want to express our gratitude to a loyal audience who supported Bike for nearly three decades,” read Bike’s statement.