Dealernews Back On Stands?
In what can only be described as a Christmas miracle, perhaps the single most momentous event since Lazarus emerged intact, comes news of the acquisition of defunct trade pub label Dealernews by a midwest consortium, DN 2.0, headed up by Columbus, OH Harley-Davidson franchisee Bob Althoff.
“What we are doing is unprecedented in the powersports industry.”
“What we are doing is unprecedented in the powersports industry,” says the owner of three OEM dealerships. The plan for DN 2.0 is apparently to restore what was lost during the mid-2000’s heyday by recalling editorial staff and management from the brand inherited by UBM in 2015 when they purchased Advanstar and which was then abruptly shuttered.
The revived brand will ostensibly be guided by an advisory board made up from a number of well-known powersports single and multi-line dealer heads, industry consultants, and communications veterans. Will it make a difference? The field of national powersports trade publications has shrunk from five to two over the last decade as social media channels have proliferated and advertising options have multiplied. For many, that constitutes a trend.
The B2B pub’s successes, and ultimately failure(s), tracked the once dominant trade show giant DealerExpo, which went down for the last time in 2014, leaving the field open for the American International Motorcycle Exposition, itself now headed ironically to Columbus for one lap in 2017 before finally dropping anchor in Las Vegas.
Assets include the Dealernews trademark, brand, website, email and registration lists, and newsletters.
In an announcement e-mailed – ironically, considering – June 18, Rick Campbell, Publisher and Editor of Motorcycle/ATV/UTV Industry Magazine(s) and the Powersports International Internet Expos (PIIE), will cease operations July 1, 2010. (www.mimag.com)
Campbell is the latest casualty in print’s war of attrition with online (digital) content, further hampered by a devastated powersports market in an overall struggling economy. The main culprit remains loss of ad revenue, the lifeblood of publishing and the sauce that has historically driven the presses.
announcement ends 30-year run
While MIM’s readership remained fairly constant, the same couldn’t be said for the B2B’s clients. Campbell recently took a big redesign step of downsizing from a tabloid format to a more conventional, more economical letter-based layout. The move bought time, but no new revenue. Continue reading ‘mc mag folds; 30 years and out’
Today, thanks to desktop publishing, four color printing has never been cheaper, crisper, smarter or easier. It also finds itself nearly shipwrecked in channel after channel, helping to drag down the US Post Office along the way.
The June, 2007 issue of Motorcycle Product News ran 108 pages including covers. By March, 2010, the pages had shrunk – along with staff and editorial budget – to 56 and counting. This isn’t to pick on venerable MPN, long a staple in the powersports community – they’re just one among thousands of titles facing real issues of survival. It’s more an open question of what happens next to the communications infrastructure when fading advertising revenue can’t sustain the hard costs print publishing requires.