One of the most respected and longest-tenured publications that focus on surfing culture will no longer be continued. TEN: The Enthusiast Network confirmed this week that Surfing Magazine will fold. The magazine printed its first copy in December of 1964.
The magazine will continue to exist as it is folded into another TEN property Surfer as a part of its digital strategy. This may send missed signals to readers, as Surfer and Surfing Magazine have been longtime competitors. This is comparable as for example ESPN Magazine folded into Sports Illustrated.
TEN reasoned the decision by saying they were pivoting towards digital media as the answer to changing demands from consumers and advertisers, preferring to stake its claim on the older and more widely read Surfer. TEN CEO Scott Dickey has issued the following statement: “The advertising market in traditional publishing is contracting, especially in areas where you’re dealing with younger demographics. The idea that brands were going to support multiple titles within a vertical doesn’t make sense anymore. This is a natural contraction of the surf publishing industry. It doesn’t mean those dollars are going away, they’re just going into other distribution channels and other media. That’s where we’re investing.”
Executive Vice President and General Manager of TEN’s sports and entertainment properties Norb Garrett also commented on the decision of digital over print. Garrett said “We’ve putting more resources and manpower on creating content in areas where consumers clearly are consuming more – in video, in social, in digital. It is no doubt, a manifestation of that strategy, and an ongoing one. Experiential events in another channel where we see a lot of opportunity. We’ve got a few really great events that were with Surfing that we can expand and grow.”