Another one bites the dust

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
According to the grapevine, Hooked on the Outdoors will close their doors this week, and they'll be missed.

Why did they fold? That's an answer only they can answer. But the legacy they left ... and, yes, it's a legacy ... was significant.

Despite a moutfhul and a half of a title (yes, they knew it was an albatross), Hooked did more with less than any magazine in the outdoor industry. Compared side-by-side with the editorial and sales staffs of other outdoor titles, Hooked was a Couloir-size operation competing with the uber-organizations of Backpacker, Outside and Men's Journal.

Their single greatest impact was helping to shift the outdoor editorial balance toward the center ... toward everyday participants, and toward close-to-home activitivies.

Some of their other notable successes include convincing some of the greatest writers of our generation to pen articles for them, not for the cash-per-word but for the editorial freedom they provided.

But perhaps their greatest accomplishment was the introduction of new blood into the the outdoor industry. While EIC Nancy Coulter-Parker was perhaps the one true veteran of the staff, the mag served to launch the careers of Doug Schnitzpahn, John Byorth, Lesley Suppes, and other editorial faces that have become expected entities at any outdoor industry gathering. On the sales side, Jeff Espy's transformation from a traditional southern salesman to a OIA board member and industry figurehead has been nothing short of amazing.

Congratulations to Hooked on a great run, and best of luck in all your new endeavours.

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