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Parent company shutters Bike magazine

Published October 5, 2020

CARLSBAD, Calif. (BRAIN) — A360 Media, which acquired Bike magazine last year, is “pausing” the mountain bike magazine and its digital publications indefinitely. A360 Media (called Active Media Inc. until last week) notified Bike editorial and sales staffers Friday afternoon that they were being furloughed.

On Friday A360 Media also furloughed staff at its Snowboarder and Surfer magazines, as well as support staff at Adventure Sports Network, the California-based division that contains the action sports titles. ASN's remaining Powder magazine staff will be furloughed Nov. 20. The Bike, Powder, and Surfer titles are being paused, while ASN's Snowboarder and Transworld Skateboarding titles will continue as digital properties to support the Dew Tour, an ASN-owned skate and surf competition series. 

Sources said Bike operations are being shut down immediately and it was unlikely any of the "paused" titles will resume. They also said the company is not interested in selling the titles. The initial furloughs announced last Friday are effective this Friday, Oct. 9. The company is covering furloughed employees' health insurance through the end of the year, sources said.

Bike had three full-time editors and one full-time sale representative, in addition to contract and freelance writers and photographers. The magazine planned to publish four print issues in 2021, including its popular “Bible of Bike” special edition. The editorial staff was set to begin production of the next Bible this week in Nevada when the furloughs were announced.

A360 has not commented on the closure and employees told BRAIN they are not authorized to talk about it. The move comes in the same year as the closure of Dirt Rag, another mountain bike title that dates to the 1990s. 

AMI bought Adventure Sports Network in 2019. AMI was best known as the publisher of National Enquirer, Us Weekly and Men's Journal. This year AMI has made several rounds of layoffs and pay cuts across several of its titles outside the ASN group, blaming the actions on poor advertising and subscription revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In August, Chatham Asset Management, AMI's holding company, announced it would merge AMI with Accelerate 360, a wholesale distribution company Chatham also owns. As part of the merger, AMI was officially renamed A360 on Oct. 1. 

Also as part of the move, longtime AMI leader David Pecker was removed as CEO of the publishing company to become its Executive Advisor. Pecker, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, was accused by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen of orchestrating “catch-and-kill” campaigns at the Enquirer to buy the rights to stories that could embarrass Trump and then prevent them from being published.

Topics associated with this article: Media/Publishing

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