Wintersport Business magazine today announced it was ceasing publication and that the current October/November issue would be its last.
The publication was purchased, along with several other Miller Freeman sports titles, August by Dutch publisher VNU. The decision to pull the plug on the four-year-old Santa Fe-based title had been anticipated by staffers.
“We thought we might be able to finish out the year, but it wasn’t to be,” says Managing Editor Peter Kray. “It was a pure business decision. I thought we were making progress and had a lot to offer. But if I had come in and looked at the books, I probably would have done exactly the same thing. It’s impossible to be bitter.”
The company had been in the last year of a three-year break-even plan. But with advertising hard to come by for a title seekng to combine all aspects of the snow-sports industry, this goal remained elusive and uncertain.
“Where we really failed was our inability to bring in enough snowboard industry advertising. We knew a lot of people in the industry were reading the publication, but we could never convince them of a compelling reason to advertise. We simply couldn’t bring in enough revenue,” says Kray
But Kray also points to a number of solid achievements he hopes the publication will be remembered for. “I think our newspaper style of editorial was an innovative format for a trade publication. But overall, I think our daily Web site coverage had the most impact. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone step in and attempt to fill the void.”
Kray says the current Wintersportbiz.com site will remain active for now as it contains useful information for retailers. But he suggests downloading the information as soon as possible.
Both Kray and Editor Doug McClellan hope to remain in snow-sports journalism in one way or another and both are pursuing a number of opportunities.