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August 31, by anthony g. This was one of the greatest single examples of magazine publishers not recognizing the value and heritage of skateboard magazines.
Unlike dance or music, which evolved before recordings, skateboarding and its media have always evolved together. With more skateboard magazines opting to post aggregate content, accompanied by three-sentence quips, skateboarding is becoming more brand controlled.
Prose is being pared down with less regard for storytelling.
So when Factory shut down print, they decided without hesitation to do their own thing. In July they released the first issue of Free, a new, independent, pan-European skateboard magazine.
Well, I used to do freelance writing stuff for Grey and Sidewalk. Then in the summer of I was asked by Factory Media to be editor-in-chief of Kingpin. That worked out for a while — I learned a lot and I felt very lucky to have that role.
But then a few months ago Factory decided to cut the mag. I knew then it was time to leave and start something new. I started freelancing for Sidewalk inand then went on to be a staff photographer at Document around or Sure enough, within a couple of years they canned Document, and I was moved over to work on Sidewalk and Kingpin.
Eventually I ended up as photo editor of Kingpin. How did things go down and how did you transition from working on Kingpin to independently founding Free? Things first got weird at Kingpin last year when they cut us down from 12 issues a year to six. We basically had no say in this, but the good thing that came out of it was that Kingpin was moving out of the newsstands and only into skate shops, and to top it off it would be a free magazine — no more cover price.
That was actually great and skaters from everywhere seemed pretty psyched to get a free magazine. These guys were our friends and the magazine had such a long history; MSM had been around for more than 30 years!
A few months later our boss announced to the whole company that Factory Media was moving to an all digital strategy. They had like 17 or so titles and they cut all of them. It was quite a shock.
After that announcement Sam, Arthur Derrien, and myself went to a nearby pub and started planning on how we could start a new magazine. It was actually pretty funny how it all went down.
In the middle of this I get asked to go into another room, along with someone from Sidewalk and another Factory employee I had never even met before. Straight away I knew what was about to go down, and they went right into it: Factory was going all digital and we had no real say in the matter.
Were the contributing photographers and writers on staff down for online only?
So, the only two people left on Kingpin were Arthur Derrien and myself. Arthur and I decided to quit. So it seemed like an obvious move for you guys, as well as the MSM crew in Germany, to start your own thing.
We felt Factory canning Kingpin, Monster, and Sidewalk left a huge void. Maybe the market in the U. Yeah, we immediately knew what we had to do. We just thought it was the right thing for European skateboarding to have a proper pan-European magazine. Kingpin had a decent ad-page-to-editorial-page ratio.
Do you think you can keep Free free without letting the ad page ratio get out of hand? So far so good with the ad page ratio.'47 is a sport lifestyle brand based out of Boston. Shop licensed sports hats, caps and apparel for your favorite team.
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