Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kennedy on Alpinist

My "informed speculation" on the new Alpinist was off the mark a bit, says Michael Kennedy, the magazine's new editor. Here's how Kennedy described his vision for the resurrected magazine in an email this morning (quoted with permission):

"I'd say the new Alpinist is going to be more like the old Alpinist than the old Climbing magazine. The trim size may end up like that of the Surfer's Journal (9.5 x 11.5 inches rather than the current 9 x 12 inches), since that's the more common "journal" size for publications printed in the U.S. The cover price will remain $12.95, although Alpinist will be offering special relaunch subscription offers with the first 'new' issue.

"True, the new Alpinist may have a few more ad pages, but the content will remain every bit as beautiful and compelling as ever. You'll still see plenty of stories and photos of cutting-edge alpine climbs. In seeking to appeal to a broader spectrum of climbers, my intention is to open Alpinist up a bit in tone and voice, to focus on what climbers have in common, to inspire and express the very best of the climbing experience at all levels. It's a much more subtle shift than you suggest.

"Nothing is set in stone, so much of the appeal, for me, is in the adventure of working with the rest of the Height of Land team to shape and hopefully improve the magazine, building on the foundation that Christian [Beckwith] developed for Alpinist."

It certainly will be interesting to see how Kennedy goes about broadening the magazine's appeal without diminishing the characteristics that endeared it to many readers—it's a tricky step, but also one that I would say is essential for Alpinist's long-term success.


Anonymous said...

I'm still not quite sure if I'm going to resubscribe. I'll have to get a taste of things to come before doing so. I hope they do NOT feature any articles on bouldering, sport climbing or local crags...that's what we have Climbing and R&I for. It will be tricky, but I want to read about alpinism, ice, mixed high altitude climbing. If they don't provide that, then I guess there's always the AAJ.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with Jeff above about what I want for content, I will resubscribe. I'm not sure there is a market for the mag that he and I want. I'll put my money where my mouth is.