Friday, December 12, 2008

The Bargain Basement

According to a statement posted on Alpinist's website, the magazine and all of its assets (subscriber list, website, film festival, a ready-to-be-printed book collecting some of Alpinist's Mountain Profiles, etc.) may sell out of receivership for as little as $30,000, free and clear of all liabilities. An offer of this amount has been accepted, and the sale will close if no higher bid is received by December 22.

On the surface, this seems like a screaming deal, and no doubt will give many loyal readers hope that Alpinist might be resurrected. But consider this: A number of good, experienced publishers are known to have taken a look at Alpinist's books since it went into bankruptcy. Yet, so far, none has been willing to cough up more than 30 grand, which is less than it would cost to print a single issue of the magazine. Clearly, they must not have seen any hope of reviving the old business model. I have no idea who made the $30,000 bid, or what the bidder's plans are, but I'm quite certain the old large-format, limited-advertising Alpinist, in all its glory, will never grace readers' mailboxes again.

3 comments:

climbingnarc said...

I was pretty amazed when I saw that number as well. It seems unbelievably cheap given all that is there for the taking. Should be interesting to see what ends up happening.

Clyde said...

Yep, I saw that too and had the same thoughts. I know Mark Crowther was interested and would assume Duane took a look. But it won't ever be what it was no matter who gets it.

tig said...

Yes, but at this cost, it could be resurrected as an online only model, but keeping its ethics and authenticity. Personally I would be interested in investing (rahuldave@gmail.com if anyone wants to discuss more), and I think that a reverse auction ad model thats more precise than adsense plus a freemium model could be used to make sure of editorial integrity.

Now web format is not the same form as gorgeous coffee table format, but can arguably lead to more innovation in coverage, and more direct money to the actual content providers, such as the folks who write the articles and take the pictures.

Is the AAC not interested, given the efforts you wrote about in an earlier blog post?