Couloir and Backcountry Magazines Merge – Become New and Better “Backcountry”

Post by blogger | April 25, 2007      

We have known something was in the works for some time, now the secret is out. I’ve always felt that two “earn your turns” magazines were too much, so hopefully this will be good for everyone. Indeed, since Backcountry Magazine came on the scene in 1994 it has been painful to watch both mags struggling along with a few issues a year, fighting for their small chunk of the tiny backcountry skiing advertising pie. I have to say I admire Craig Dostie for what he’s done for the sport and for his perseverance with a totally self-financed grass roots publishing endeavor, but all things pass and now Craig can focus on other parts of the publishing world.

I just spoke with Craig on the phone and he said this is a “huge step” for backcountry skiing publishing and for him personally. He said Backcountry approached him with the idea about 10 months ago. We say congratulations Craig for taking such a big step in life, and congratulations Backcountry for working out what we suspect was a somewhat complicated business deal.

As most of you know, the forums we link to from are (were) the Couloir Magazine forums. They’ll probably become the Backcountry Magazine forums and we’ll see what kind of relationship I maintain with them. I’d like to keep WildSnow associated with a focused backcountry skiing discussion forum, so perhaps we can work something out.

Following is the official press release:


Backcountry and Couloir Magazines Merge

Jeffersonville, Vermont. (April 25, 2007) Backcountry and Couloir Magazines have merged. Backcountry Magazine publisher, Height of Land Publications (HOL) today announced the deal that combines the experience of both titles making a bigger, better Backcountry Magazine.

Couloir Publications founding publisher Craig Dostie now joins John Dostal as Senior Editor at the new “Earn Your Turns” Magazine: Backcountry.

“This really will be the best of both worlds for the reader,” Backcountry Editor Adam Howard says. Historically Couloir, founded in Los Angeles in 1988, and Backcountry, founded in Arvada, CO in 1994 have featured some of the best ski writing and photography published. “We’re looking forward to combining specific concepts and content from each magazine to provide a truly superior product that will better serve both the reader and the industry.”

Dostie agrees. “Not only does this merger combine editorial talents,” he says. “But it also creates a publishing team with new-owner enthusiasm and bootstrap entrepreneurial experience. I’m looking forward to focusing my energies on working with Adam, Chuck (Waskuch), Jon (Howard), and the other members of Backcountry Magazine to create the most authoritative source of information on the sport we love.â€?

With Dostie’s presence in a California-based office, along with established satellite offices in Bozeman, Montana and Jackson, Wyoming Backcountry will be even more tapped in to all things backcountry.

Previously both titles published five times annually. The merger will provide not only for thicker issues, it will allow the new Backcountry to grow to six issues. All existing Couloir subscriptions will be fulfilled with the new Backcountry. Additionally HOL will re-launch Telemark Skier Magazine, which Couloir Publications founded in 2002. The first issue of which will be available in October, followed by four more in 2008-2009.

By consolidating the two titles under one banner, advertisers in the backcountry market will benefit greatly according to HOL President and Backcountry and Telemark Skier Publisher Jon Howard.

“One unified voice will be a stronger voice for the sport and the industry,” Howard says. “This fusion also eliminates duplication and overlap in distribution. Now advertisers have the ability to reach more readers much more cost effectively, not just in print but on line as well. It’s a winning combination all around.”

For a limited time subscriptions to the new Backcountry will be available at the old price of $14.97. That’s six bigger, better issues for the price of five. To subscribe to the new Backcountry visit their website.


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5 Responses to “Couloir and Backcountry Magazines Merge – Become New and Better “Backcountry””

  1. Matt Kinney April 25th, 2007 10:23 pm

    This is good. Much respect for both mags. Lots of “pen” power behind the sport at a perfect time.

  2. vince April 26th, 2007 2:10 am

    It was a big move and two thumbs up for this development. 😉

  3. Michael April 26th, 2007 7:06 am

    Hopefully, consolidation can only result in a stronger publication. Of course, now they can raise advertising prices so hopefully they’ll now be able to pay writers and photographers a little more too.

    Definitely appears to be a good move.

  4. Kirk April 26th, 2007 12:48 pm

    I much preferred Backcountry’s feature articles but I liked the reviews in Couloir better. Hopefully we’ll get the best of both worlds.

  5. Stefan April 26th, 2007 4:05 pm

    6 issues of Backcountry Mag next season = 2 more episodes from Biff America, how cool is that!

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