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Updates on the Alpinist Relaunch

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Dougald MacDonald reports that Michael Kennedy is going to edit the new Alpinist.

Kennedy edited and published Climbing magazine for more than two decades before selling the magazine in 1997. Along with being one of America’s top alpine climbers of the 1970s and â??80s, he created a magazine with authoritative articles and elegant design, and he was rewarded with the largest circulation climbing magazine in the world.

MacDonald also states that the new Alpinist will relaunch in April, speculating that it will be more like Climbing magazine and appeal to a broader audience than the former Alpinist.

If this is true, there will be four print climbing magazines all targeting essentially the same audience.

I’m almost at a loss for words on this news. I do like that fact that there’s another magazine that will appeal to me (I wasn’t a subscriber to the old Alpinist), but I’m still trying to understand how the market will support all four of these magazines. The MBA in me would love to see these business plans, especially the market research.

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  1. That’s because there probably wasn’t any market research…
    So far as I can tell the market can barely support the mags we got.

  2. Wig nailed it. I bet there’s no actual research (at least not anything beyond the finger-in-the-wind kind of “research”). One or more of the US climbing mags seems likely to fall, and soon.

  3. I always believed, and believe most others felt the same way, that Alpinist was special because of its amazing art-like quality photos and detailed stories. The other climbing mags don’t have stories – they have bragfests, and if their photos could talk, they would grunt with testosterone rather than sigh with the satisfaction of being in the wilderness. I truly hope the new Alpinist manages to keep some resemblance to the old mag’s virtues. As for business models, I would love to see a forum with the top mag editors and publishers discussing ads and ROI because I agree – it really makes no sense to schlep out four of the same products with different names on the covers. I think the climbing community deserves better.