Keith Kelly does his take on the Sports Afield shuttering in today’s NY Post.
“The biggest mistake they ever made was to take it and try and make it into something for surfers and snowboarders,” said Sid Evans, the editor of Men’s Journal who had worked there and edited some spin-off books. “It started tanking and they started losing all their readers,” said Evans.
Here is my analysis (caveat: my analysis is based on absolutely no knowledge of any of the players or without actually looking at an issue of Sports Afield since 1991): I believe you can pin point the exact moment when the magazine’s fate was sealed on February 6, 2002 when Philip Morris said it would no longer advertise tobacco products in magazines. I suspect the magazine was acquired by Petersen who believed it could succeed editorially by returning to its roots in guns and hooks and succeed financially by returning to its roots in tobacco advertising.