Yesterday, Bonnier Corp, the parent of Sport Diver magazine, where I am a staff photographer & author of the IMAGES column, acquired Scuba Diving magazine. This is big news in the world of scuba diving and underwater photography. Scuba Diving magazine, for many years owned by Rodale and now F+W, has been an iconic title for some time. As is happening all around us, the new media era has allowed only the absolute strongest to survive and to a degree forced the consolidation of yet another category. About 5 years ago another iconic dive magazine Skin Diver had folded, and Sport Diver subsequently acquired the remaining assets of their brand and customer lists.
We are observing the result of massive changes in consumer media consumption. Even the niche categories, once protected from the shorter terms shift to digital media, are being affected. The down economy and large infrastructure of primarily print-based media companies have been colliding lately. Unless you live under a rock, you would have heard that even Tribune, the largest newspaper conglomerate in the US, owners of titles such as the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, recently filed for bankruptcy. The print media business is in a state of flux. Many publishers have heard the chants but ignored the mantra of “evolve or die”. We are watching history unfold in so many ways.
On a positive note – congrats to the team at Bonnier and at Sport Diver for a job well done, and for maintaining a position of dominance in an evolving market. I am proud to be involved with the team at Sport Diver.