You’ll remember that Alpinist Magazine folded in October of 2008 after their business model came crashing down as the overall economy went in the tank. After apparently dumping over $2,000,000 into the magazine with no profits to speak of, investor Marc Ewing had had enough and the magazine’s assets were put up for sale. I mentioned in yesterday’s News & Notes rundown that Alpinist (and all its assets) was recently sold at auction for $71,000.
Yesterday, Dougald MacDonald reported a rumor that Alpinist’s assets were won at auction by Height of Land Publications, the company that publishes magazines like Backcountry. Via the Outside Blog comes confirmation that this rumor is apparently true:
Alpinist, a 9,000-circulation quarterly about alpine-style mountain climbing which ceased publication in October, has been sold. According to a source, the six-year-old, high-gloss, high production-value magazine with a small but passionate community of climbers, was sold via a “live phone auction” for—wait for it—$71,000.
That a magazine with a passionate fanbase and multiple (albeit not yet profitable) platforms is sold for less than six figures—and does so over the phone—is scary, and says more about the state of print than many publishers would care to admit.
It is still to soon to get any sense of what the plans are for whatever is left of Alpinist. If past history is any indication, HOLP bought Coulier magazine in 2007 and simply folded it into their existing Backcountry publication. This seems unlikely to work with Alpinist as it was a fairly unique product, so it should be interesting to see what happens.
You can read the full story here.