Surfers offer to buy iconic surf mags back from corporate master!
Here’s what you might call a switcharoo. Instead of an investment firm swinging their millions at a publishing house, the surfers who run Surfing Life and White Horses for Pacific Star Network, the company that bought Morrison Media with its suite of titles (Frankie, Surfing Life, White Horses, Smith Journal) for ten million dollars in November 2014, have made an offer to buy back the two surf mags.
As I write, the board of Pacific Star are meeting to discuss an offer that would put White Horses into the hands of its creator and designer/editor Graeme Murdoch, Rob Bain (sales, former surf star) and Morrison Media’s former general manager, Craig Sims, a South African who once owned Zig Zag magazine before moving to Australia. Craig would also become the sole owner of Surfing Life magazine.
Buying two print titles? Did not the memo about print being dead reach his desk?
Would Sims’ next investment be a franchise of blacksmiths or video stores?
Sims ain’t wearing rose coloured glasses.
“We’re passionate and we love what we do,” says Sims, “and we know we’ll have our work cut out for us.”
Surfing Life‘s current editor Ryan Jones says the mag might miss a deadline, if the changeover happens, but it’ll be biz as usual in a month or so. Jones says it’s likely the mags will be run by a gang of contributors working wherever, meeting around deadline time, then dispersing back to their home offices. This works on two levels. You lose the weight of full-time salaries and all their associated costs and the workers can choose whether they want to work or surf.
It’s all very share economy. People power etc.
There’ll be an announcement either today (offer accepted), tomorrow (counter offer made) or Monday (counter offer rejected).
Whatever happens, I think it’s the most wonderful thing ever to see a bunch of workers having a swing in the real world, escaping the yoke of their corporate masters etc.