Transworld Skateboarding (TWS) was an international magazine on skateboarding that was based in Carlsbad, California. The publication also ran an accompanying website and video production company. In February 2019, the publishers of Transworld magazine, "The Enthusiast Network", were purchased by American Media, Inc. In March 2019, the print edition of Transworld magazine was discontinued.
March 1994, Transworld Skateboarding Magazine featuring Mike Vallely
|Frequency||12 monthly issues and 1 special issue|
|Year founded||May 1983|
|Company||Motor Trend Group|
Founded in 1983 to rival Thrasher magazine with a slogan of "skate and create" as opposed to "skate and destroy", TWS was intended as a more accessible alternative to Thrasher Magazine. For example, a December 1982 Thrasher article, "Skate and Destroy" written by C. R. Stecyk, III under the pen name "Lowboy", was criticized. In addition a February 1983 advertisement for Independent Trucks, featured a topless female model with the brand's decals displayed on her breasts.
The public release of Transworld Skateboarding occurred under the ownership of Peggy Cozens and Larry Balma, owner of the Tracker Trucks brand. Initially, the magazine's editorial teams were known collectively as the "United Skate Front" and Balma later spoke of the magazine’s beginnings as a reaction to Thrasher, explaining in a 2003 Union-Tribune interview: "They were pretty harsh, sex and drugs and using four-letter words and all that and in the early '80s, the sport started growing and [Thrasher] wasn't the best magazine for young kids".
The first issue of TWS contained the article "Skate and Create" and its author Peggy Cozens noted, "I have become increasingly concerned about a new skate attitude being pushed on skaters: Skate and Destroy" . She highlighted the positive and creative side of skating. The stance of the new magazine remained positive, to the extent that even Thrasher owner Fausto Vitello wrote, "They were about Skate and Create; we were about Skate and Destroy."
The magazine recruited graphic designer David Carson into the position of art director in 1984 and he remained with TWS until 1988; Carson imbued the magazine with a distinctive look. Between 1984 and 1988, the magazine featured the photographic work of J. Grant Brittain and Spike Jonze, and editorial contributions from professional skateboarders, such as Lance Mountain, Tony Hawk, Neil Blender, Steve Berra, Marty 'Jinx' Jimenez, Garry Scott Davis and Mark Gonzales.
Time Warner ownership
In 1997, the magazine was sold for US$475 million to the Times Mirror in 2000.
Internal tensions between magazine staff and AOL Time Warner started after a new publishers with no understanding of the company culture were sent to manage the publications at the Carlsbad office. Slowly the company starting firing long-serving employees and replacing them with new employees that fit their undefined corporate vision. The culmination of this was when internal tensions prompted the resignation of several key founding editorial members, such as J. Grant Britain, Dave Swift, and Atiba Jefferson—three journalists who later launched The Skateboard Mag publication that was first published in April 2004. Jefferson, whose seminal mentor was Brittain, revealed in May 2012:
So, in 2004, we were all working at Transworld with Dave Swift (photographer), Grant ... Brittain. I think I'd gotten to the point—you've done everything you kinda could. And, with that magazine being bought and sold that many times, and being corporate-owned, a lot of things had changed. Even when I started working at Transworld, it was just owned by the Balma's; it was independently owned. It was just different, it wasn't the same. There was a lot of things that became very corporate about it. And that was just-it is so hard to do with skating. There were so many things we couldn't justify. So we decided to break off and start out own magazine, The Skateboard Mag, in 2004.
Jefferson's view was reinforced seven years earlier in an interview that Brittain participated in with the Union-Tribune, whereby Jefferson's mentor stated, "We did not like the whole corporate deal, not knowing what was in every issue ad-wise. It wasn't about skateboarding anymore."
Bonnier Group ownership
On September 12, 2006, Time Warner announced the sale of Time4 Media, a company that consisted of a portfolio of eighteen print magazines that included the Transworld group of titles. The rationale for the sale was that Time Warner sought "to focus our energy, resources and investment on our biggest and most profitable brands". The eighteen Time4 Media properties were eventually sold for over US$200 million on January 25, 2007 to the Bonnier Group—a 200-year-old Swedish media and entertainment company with a net income of approximately US$20 million, an annual revenue of US$350 million, and businesses in twenty countries. The deal was finalized by March 1, 2007 and an internal memo from Time4 Media president Tom Beusse was published on the Internet, in which he stated:
Bonnier has adopted a decentralized approach in managing their 150 businesses because they believe in the potential and ability of individuals, and they are notorious for being very good to employees. They also understand vertical media brands and the value of their connection with passionate enthusiast audiences. Bonnier's acquisition of our businesses is excellent recognition of that value, as well as the quality of our brands and talent of our staff. Together we have the unique opportunity to build a new multi-platform media company on an incredible foundation.
Since the departure of Dave Swift as editor of Transworld Skateboarding in 2004, the magazine and website is overseen by Skin Phillips (Editor-in-Chief) and is the largest skateboarding magazine in the world. As of March 2013, the magazine's editors are listed as Oliver Barton (Bartok), Blair Alley, Ben Kelly, Kevin Duffel, Joey Muellner (Shigeo), Chris Thiesson and Dave Chami. The magazine's headquarters in Carlsbad also houses an indoor skate park that is a "5,000-square-foot “plaza” complete with simulated brick banks and real concrete ledges", and it is estimated that over 2,500 people attend the facility every year. In early 2013, the Bonnier International Magazines website revealed that a full page, four-color advertisement in the magazine can be purchased for US$22,271.
In the second decade of the 21st century, the magazine launched Transworld.tv, an online video platform that is described by the publication as a service that "offers compelling and relevant selections of action sports clips, trailers, webisodes, and live webcasts through a single website viewable across multiple screens including mobile devices, personal computers, e-readers, and traditional television screens".
The publication's 2013 media kit cites a readership total of 619,886, a monthly print circulation of 87,308, and a total annual brand audience total of 13,092,000. As of March 2, 2013, the magazine's Facebook fan page had received 448,102 "Likes" and the 2013 media kit claimed 298,000 monthly website visitors, 58,000 Twitter followers, 82,000 Instagram followers, 75,000 viewers of its "online on-demand video platform" Transworld.tv and 20,394 subscribers to its YouTube channel.
An official announcement was released on May 20, 2013 to mark the acquisition of Transworld media by the GrindMedia company that is owned by Source Interlink. The Bonnier Corporation's decision occurred after it divested of the Mountain Group, which includes Ski, Skiing and Warren Miller titles and its Parenting Group. At the time of the acquisition, GrindMedia owned the forty-nine-year-old title Skateboarder Magazine, which was transformed into a free digital publication, with a bimonthly print replica, in April 2013.
Former Skateboarder Editor-In-Chief Jaime Owens was announced as the new Editor-In-Chief of Transworld Skateboarding in October 2013. Owens got the job as it became open around the time that the production of Skateboarder magazine ceased in August 2012 and explained what Transworld Skateboarding means to him in an October 29, 2013 interview with the magazine: "TWS‘ hallmark has always been amazing photography of the biggest names in skateboarding. Growing up with Transworld meant I was always seeing the best skateboarding being done by the best skaters shot by the best photographers. That documentation of skateboarding is unsurpassed."
GrindMedia’s parent company, Source Interlink Media (SIM), published a press release in May 2014 to announce a rebranding to the new name: "The Enthusiast Network" (TEN). As part of the rebranding process, the GrindMedia umbrella brand became the "TEN: Action/Outdoor" brand and remained a part of the new TEN brand. The press release stated that TEN sough to transform into a "Web-Led, Socially Amplified Media Model" and TEN Chief Executive Officer Scott Dickey—who was hired in February 2014—explained: "It is not up to us to decide how our consumers choose to interact with our brands ... Our job is to provide them with the content they want, where they want it, and when they want it. Our business model needs to reflect this new reality."
Charity work and causes
The Bonnier Corporation has associated the magazine with charities such as the Tony Hawk Foundation, Texas Skate Jam, Make-A-Wish, and Elemental Awareness, identifying the publication as a regular contributor to such programs.
In October 2012, the magazine featured and promoted the "Free Fabes" campaign, organized by the DGK skateboard company, on its website. The campaign sought to raise legal funds for former professional skateboarder, Fabian Alomar, who was arrested and detained earlier in the year for a non-violent drug possession charge.
The magazine has released a series of skateboarding videos (in chronological order):
- Uno (1996)
- 4 Wheel Drive (1996)
- Greatest Hits (1997)
- Cinematographer (1997)
- Interface (1997)
- The Sixth Sense (1998)
- Transmission 7 (1999)
- Feedback (1999)
- The Reason (1999)
- Modus Operandi (2000)
- i.e. (2000)
- Sight Unseen (2001)
- In Bloom (2002)
- Free Your Mind (2003)
- Are You Alright? (2003)
- Subtleties (2004)
- First Love (2005)
- A Time To Shine (2006)
- Let's Do This! (2007)
- And Now (2008)
- Right Foot Forward (2009)
- Hallelujah (2010)
- Not Another Transworld Video (2011)
- The Cinematographer Project (2012)
- Perpetual Motion (2013)
- Outliers (2014)
- Substance (2016)
- Riddles in Mathematics (2017)
- The Cinematographer Project: Worldview (2017)
- Duets (2018)
Transworld Skateboarding has also released a number of additional video projects:
- "Transworld Skateboarding". Bonnier International Magazines. Bonnier International Magazines. 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "2013 Media Portfolio" (PDF). Transworld SKATEboarding. Bonnier Corporation. 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- TWS (2013). "Contact Us". Transworld SKATEboarding. Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Transworld (January 2012). "SKATEboarding Online". Transworld Media Kit. Transworld. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- "American Media, LLC Acquires The Adventure Sports Network From TEN: Publishing". Adventure Sports Network. 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "What's Going on With Transworld?". Jenkem Magazine. 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "Instagram post announcing Transworld's closure by Mackenzie Eisenhour, Associate Editor". Instagram. 2019.
- "Home". Transworld Web (in Japanese and English). 10 February 2013. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Conor Dougherty (20 September 2003). "Corporate culture with skater roots". The San Diego Union-Tribune. The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- Cozens 1983, p. 13.
- Weyland 2002.
- Independent Truck Company 2004, p. 17.
- Nat Ives (25 January 2007). "It's Official, Bonnier New Owner of 18 Time Inc. Titles". Ad Age. Crain Communications. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Shoot All Skaters: Atiba Jefferson" (Video upload). The Berrics. The Berrics. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- "The Skateboard Mag Store: Issue *1". The Skateboard Mag. Strictly Skateboarding. 2013. Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Whitelaw Reid (27 February 2005). "Skateboarders only". The Union Tribune. Union-Tribune Publishing Co. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Lucia Moses (25 January 2007). "Bonnier Buys Time4 Titles". AdWeek. Adweek. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Keith J. Kelly (26 January 2007). "BONNIER COUGHED UP $225M TO TIME". New York Post. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Staff". Transworld SKATEboarding. Bonnier Corporation. March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Transworld SKATEboarding". Transworld SKATEboarding on Facebook. Facebook. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Mike Lewis (21 May 2013). "Norb Garrett discusses the Transworld acquisition and the future of its and GrindMedia's titles, action sports media, and the industry as a whole". Transworld Business. Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Michael Rondon (17 April 2013). "Skateboarder Magazine Goes Digital-First". Folio. Access Intelligence. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "TWS New Editor In Chief Jaime Owens Interview". Transworld SKATEboarding. The Enthusiast Network. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "TWS New Editor In Chief Jaime Owens Interview". Transworld SKATEboarding. The Enthusiast Network. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Kailee Bradstreet (29 May 2014). "SOURCE INTERLINK MEDIA REBRANDS AS TEN: THE ENTHUSIAST NETWORK". Transworld Business. TEN. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- TWS (5 October 2012). "Help DGK Free Fabian Alomar". Transworld Skateboarding. Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- "Transworld Skateboarding skate videos". SkatevideoSite.com. SkatevideoSite.com. 2005–2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Cozens, Patty (1983). Skate and Create. San Diego: Transworld Skateboarding Magazine.
- Independent Truck Company (2004). Built to Grind: 25 Years of Hardcore Skateboarding. High Speed Productions, Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-9657271-8-1.
- Weyland, Jocko (2002). The Answer is Never: A Skateboarder's History of the World. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-3945-0.
- MediaPost (2006) Magazine Rack
- Audit Bureau Of Circulations
- New York Post (2007) 'Bonnier Coughed Up $225 Million To Time'