Sad to hear...Sea Kayaker Magazine gone

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Joe_O, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. drahcir

    drahcir Paddler

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    There is an obvious relationship between this thread and the one discussing "Where have all the sea kayakers gone." I began kayaking in 2006 and my enthusiasm led to buying books and subscribing to multiple magazines, including Sea Kayaker. Although my enthusiasm has not abated, my subscription frenzy passed and my scope has narrowed to jk's "Coast & Kayak" (once Wavelength). It provides coverage of mostly the northwest (a recent issue being an exception), which is where I kayak and where my interest is focused. Further, I now glean technical information from the web and occasionally buy a book - SK's "More Deep Trouble" being the most recent. And if I have a very specific question, I ask this forum!

    My magazine subscription behavior may be somewhat typical of new kayakers i.e. dropping from many subscriptions down a few. The industry-wide subscription base can only be maintained if new kayakers keep entering the stream in significant numbers. But if there are fewer new kayakers, there can be a dramatic drop in subscriptions overall. Then factor in the amount of information available on the web - and print magazine's are jeopardized. That said, I much prefer my print copy of "Coast & Kayak", although I also access the digital version.
     
  2. Doug_Lloyd

    Doug_Lloyd Paddler

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    I find I develop a relationship with some magazines like I would a TV show where one gets into the characters and anticipates the next episode (I have but few). I counted Chris at SKM as a friend and loved the longer reads and editorials,I love Sott's AK magazine and his Canadian stance and cheekiness though did not like the digital version, I love John's CK format though it always leaves me wanting for more in depth coverage and I do enjoy following his life and how he ended up on our coast sea kayaking and he is so very careful and accurate with his other kayak related output which we all love. I am an anti-social paddler and prefer solo paddling and these magazines give me a sense of connection to the greater whole and more of us should try and contribute. In the end though connection and information exchange seem more ultimately served through blogs, FB, and the better forums like Westcoastpaddler though I get turned off when the administrators get heavy handed which ironically is what keeps the forums on track. As paddlers we are all special people sharing a pastime out of a disciplined love of the water and I appreciate all the editors, list administrators and those who maintain exemplary blogs. I will certainly miss reading Cunningham...
     
  3. jk

    jk Paddler

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    Definitely the wise route. Not nearly as interesting though. I spent 15 years as a newspaper columnist so am inured to criticism and backlash, so my perspective on speaking out isn't average. The fallout debate is better than the alternative in my view. But if people with expert knowledge don't share opinions then who? Your thoughts would be highly welcomed and appreciated, Scott, is all I'm saying. WCP is a comfortable forum, the people understanding and I've already set the bar for foot-in-mouth comments. You couldn't possibly do worse.
     
  4. jk

    jk Paddler

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  5. Roy

    Roy Paddler

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    As a pioneer in sea kayaking, John Dowd wrote books, explored far flung places by kayak, raised a wonderful family and started Sea Kayaker as well as Ecomarine Kayak in Vancouver. John has moved on and things change. Such a pity, especially for us old farts who still enjoy the tactile feel of a good magazine. I have a framed copy of the artwork from the cover of issue number one on my wall so, for me at least, it will never be forgotten.
     
  6. laj

    laj Paddler

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    SKM didn't go under for lack of subscribers. CC told me that those numbers have actually risen over the last few years. Like many "pen and ink" publishers, the decision to go with a modified online format was made because of the lack of advertising dollars in the current one. When companies are already paying to establish and maintain their own websites it limits their advertising budgets to do more in an outside publication. It is the advertisers, not the subscribers, that keep a magazine going. One of my accounting clients is an in hand publisher and let me tell you, that is an increasingly uphill battle that most will lose unless they are truly in a niche market. A magazine must be able to fill a demand that can't be done with an online publication. I think most paddlers that do would rather have a birding book in a plastic bag than drag around a laptop on a spray skirt. With all due respect, I'm not trading in my Peanuts Classics or beautifully bound photography books for computer printouts. Not to mention the childhood books that I have been given with a message written inside by family, friends or teachers! =)

    lj
     
  7. datakoll

    datakoll Paddler

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    Print is in serious difficulty. Why subscribe to one or 3 sources when MiFi and a laptop, I’m in an Econoline in SWFL, may provide enough resource for filling all your available time.

    To meet the available time challenge print has to max against that flow. SKM didn’t do it. For all the hundreds of kayak writers out there, no one showed up. SKM is online now. Where’s your piece ?

    I bicycle. I’m looking at the New Mexico CDT MTB trail for spring. Verizon almost covers the NM trail. I read the CDT in Colorado so high reception is probable along the entire length. With or without electronics.

    Cyclists are moving to MiFi and cellphone GPS. Garmin is flushed. So with a few minutes to spare I finally cycled into the Verizon store gawking at the Samsung 3: complete laptop/cellphone/GPS with ‘APS’..whatever*&%ee!s that is….

    Size of a large address book. Remember address books ?

    No Mil Spec yet….hard shell/waterproof/ext ant/solar accessory..next year. Yahoo comics on the trail. Trail Blogging. With instant video…. IN and OUT.

    In your spray skirt with Blue Charts. In the tent while the front passes.

    You’re kidding about the book ?

    There’s an AP: translate American spelling into Canadian spelling, eh?
     
  8. jk

    jk Paddler

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    Just for the record, I'm looking at the 2009 SKM media kit, which advertises 83,335 readers per issue based on 3.1 readers per magazine, the math being a circulation of 26,682. The 2010 kit, same math gives a circulation of 21,840. Can email copies if anyone questions this. Sorry, no 2011-2013 media kits in my archive that I could find, but looking at the December 2012 issue page 54 audited circulation statement and I quote "G. Total Distribution: 11,518(X) 9,559(Y)", with (Y) being the single issue nearest the filing date. Maybe there was a rebound in there somewhere, but clearly the decline was drastic, 26k to under 10k. Not to cast aspersions at CC, sorry Chris if you're reading this, and I don't say this to make the case SKM did go under for lack of subscribers, because no doubt Chris is being honest saying that the advertising revenue was the main culprit over the numbers. And here's the hard part for SKM: if California Paddler Magazine had 10k subscribers, I'd imagine Peter would tickled pink and celebrate by buying something expensive; shutting down would be his last thought. Conversely if you have an established company like SKM with overhead of an office and staff built on a revenue model that no longer exists, ouch.

    FYI, if anyone else wants to track numbers, US magazines are required by USPS to print audited circulation statements to get the publications mail discount. They're usually printed December, as I recall, so it's all a matter of public record for SKM and Canoe&Kayak. Rapid Media is Canadian therefore exempt, as is Coast&Kayak. Anyway, you don't have to take my word for it. It's all there.
     
  9. datakoll

    datakoll Paddler

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    Cooling down in an upscale waiting room yesterday north of Cuba, wearing an upscale hoodie and hiking pants, noticed 20% of the sittees using tablet computers reading, 'gaming,' and surfing.

    No magazine rack. But the office is ophthalmology so ? There is a stack of 5 magazines off in a corner, visually refugees from the trash.
     
  10. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    :big_thumb

    http://www.rapidmedia.com/rapid-med...ers-magazine-readers-for-adventure-kayak.html
     
  11. Strange Magic

    Strange Magic Paddler

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    This is certainly good news. It surely ought to be wonderful news for Adventure Kayak. The addition of Chris Cunningham and the prospect of having the Sea Kayaker readership scrutinize AK and compare it with what SK brought to the table for the past 30 years will challenge the AK staff to strive to satisfy a knowledgeable and experienced audience. Here's the opportunity for AK to really up its game. Can't wait to see it.

    On another, perhaps related subject: what is known about "the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage" that Rapid Media receives? Just curious. If only........