BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Felix Magowan was cleaning out his office Tuesday ending a 22-year career at VeloNews, a struggling magazine he and two others bought in 1988. They ultimately transformed it into one of the dominant cycling news magazines in the world.
The Competitor Group (CGI), a San Diego, California company, bought VeloNews and its parent company Inside Communications for an undisclosed amount in March 2008. Magowan has been employed there as its business development director working from the company’s Boulder office.
While in that position he engineered the sale of VeloGear and recently completed a joint publishing agreement in the U.K. for Triathlete magazine.
“It’s been an interesting ride,” Magowan said. “When we started, the only way for fans to get same-day news from European races was to call a beat-up old answering machine on which we’d leave results from that day’s racing.
“Now most cycling fans get real-time news from sites like VeloNews.com. The interesting thing is that despite the technological changes, it’s still good journalism that keeps readers hooked. What started with our own legendary John Wilcockson has been ably carried on by Neal Rogers, Jason Sumner, Ben Delaney, Andy Hood, Charles Pelkey, and Fred Dreier. It’s the story that counts,” Magowan said.
Magowan joins a roster of key executives who have left the company. Andy Pemberton, VeloNews’s publisher, resigned June 19; Greg Thomas, the magazine’s chief operating officer left late last year; and Bruce Herring, the company’s event director, leaves later this month.
Messages seeking comment from CGI’s Scott Dickey, the company’s chief operating officer, were left late Tuesday afternoon after Bicycle Retailer learned of Magowan’s departure.
CGI is a media and event management company that’s focused on the endurance sports of running, cycling and triathlon. Falconhead Capital, a New York City private-equity company, owns it. Among CGI’s holdings are Competitor Magazine, Triathlete Magazine, Inside Triathlon, VeloNews, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, Muddy Buddy and VeloPress.
CGI also owns and operates 26 national events that have attracted more than 250,000 professional and amateur participants this year. CGI’s magazines have a combined monthly circulation of approximately 1 million.