Outside Inc., the company that owns Triathlete (we’ve always been Triathlon Magazine Canada and are not associated with the US-based publication) has laid off 15 per cent of its staff and will stop printing many of its magazines. Included in the list of publications that will be “digital only” from here on in is Triathlete.
Originally published in the summer of 1983 by William R. Katovsky (originally the title was hyphenated – Tri-Athlete), Triathlete has had an up and down journey in it’s 39 years. An outside investor came on board shortly afterward the publication started – Belgium’s Jean-Claude Garot, the publisher of Winning Bicycle Racing Illustrated – and a few years later the magazine merged with its rival Triathlon Magazine (another magazine that had started up about the same time, and, no, still not related to Triathlon Magazine Canada!) got rid of the hyphen, and became Triathlete.
Over the years the publication would go through a number of different owners – in 2007 the magazine was bought by Falconhead Capital and became part of “Competitor Group,” and in 2017 Wanda Group, then owners of Ironman, purchased that company. In 2017 Ironman sold Triathlete along with other Competitor Group publications VeloNews and Women’s Running to Pocket Outdoor Media (POM). Last February POM acquired Outside Integrated Media, Outside TV, Gaia GPS, athleteReg and Peloton Magazine. It changed its name to Outside.
One of the men behind the new organization was Michael Moritz, the man who has been funding the Professional Triathletes Organisation.
“We’re investing in Outside because the management team has warmly embraced the future of information and entertainment on the internet,” Moritz said at the time. “Just like Netflix and Amazon Prime, Outside will create and distribute distinctive content to a worldwide audience on any connected device. Better still, Outside will turbocharge the online programming of many of the most-loved fitness and health brands. As a longtime journalist and former ink-stained wretch, I’m now being granted the opportunity to start a new chapter—as a digital-stained wretch.”
Last Friday Outside Inc. announced that it would be laying off between 85 and 90 people, the Denver Business Journal reported. Three of the 36 titles were being eliminated, with three more being phased out over the next six months. The print publications, except for Outside Magazine, were to all to be cut, or reduced to one or two publications a year.
“The goal is really to create more immersive, high-quality storytelling,” CEO Robin CEO Robin Thurston told the Denver Business Journal. “We’ll still have some print. But on a move-forward basis, we’re really trying to move into more high-quality video.”
“As economic conditions grow uncertain, companies are increasingly looking to cut costs, and Outside Inc. pointed to its more than 20 acquisitions over the past two years as a source of redundancy,” adweek.com reported. “By trimming headcount, reducing print cadence and further consolidating operations, the publisher aims to better position itself financially and focus more resources on growth areas like video.”