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Subject: Re: New magazine ideas
Message-ID: <c4o78.16381$>
Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2002 04:26:48 GMT

In rec.bicycles.misc Matt O'Toole writes:

> It's true.  What sells that magazine going is its title- it's the
> most comprehensive sounding one on the rack.  What keeps it on the
> rack is that a semi-major publisher is behind it, so it can be
> offered to distributors as part of a bundle.  The publisher already
> has an "in" with distributors.

> This can be a tough nut to crack, but once cracked I don't think it
> would be hard to outdo Bicycling.  There are good and bad magazines
> in every subject area.  Say what you want about the business
> environment or whatever, I still don't give them any credit.
> Bicycling is just a shitty magazine, by any measure.  It has been
> for a very long time, and I don't see any signs of improvement.  But
> neither do I see any attempts at direct competition.  So have at
> it...

What's even more annoying is that they know how to do better but don't
want to hire people who would do that.  What's bad about this is that
IF another magazine came along and out performed them, they would hire
the right folks and run the newcomer off the shelves.  This is exactly
what happened at Tour in Germany.  What I find amazing is that they
did not revert when they crushed the competition.  It could be that
someone up there recognized HOW good the results were.  A few years
ago it was worse than Bicycling, had a technical editor who spouted
mostly myth and lore and their touring stories were apparently not
edited and went on and on pointlessly.

Today Tour is a technical resource.  The do serious testing and are
credible by the background information they give for their tests.

We should have it so good.  Here in the USA we had the old standby
Railroad Magazine (Bicycling) being over shadowed by Pacific Rail News
that was truly full of interesting news and analyses.  Railroad pulled
a Tour stunt, bought them out and is now a far better magazine.  It
can happen but someone may get hurt in the process.

Jobst Brandt  <>  Palo Alto CA

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