Resistance is Futile — Skateboarders versus Time

Skateboarding magazine team bolts rather than be assimilated
Nobody resists the Borg like Postmoderns. Top members of TransWorld Skateboarding magazine have jumped ship to start their own publication, because they can’t handle what’s happened since the mag was taken over by Time, Inc. three years ago. The Wall Street Journal article about the mutiny is must reading for anybody trying to figure out what’s going on with young people today. Time told them to stop rejecting ads because they weren’t “cool enough.” They didn’t like the practice of easy credit for advertisers. They didn’t like the posters on the wall.

“…some of the edginess that makes the magazine so appealing to its readers didn’t fit well with Time Inc.‘s standard corporate practices. Former staff of the magazine complain they were told to remove posters from their walls because the human resources department deemed them offensive. Business-side staff were unhappy after advertisers, especially those in the skateboarding industry, were asked to deal with accountants in New York who were stricter about credit terms. They also felt the magazine was pressured to accept mainstream consumer advertising — such as from cosmetics maker L’Oreal — which infuriated the magazine’s readers.”
But the real deal breaker was when Time, Inc. attached one of those AOL CDs to the magazine’s cover, prompting editor, Eric Sentianin, to write an apology to readers and publish it in the magazine. “Sorry for the poly-bagged edition with the 1000 hours of free Internet access from AOL. We here at the magazine didn’t even find out about the atrocity until some of the poly-bagged bull made it into the office. We feel just as violated as you.”

This is a classic case of a Modernist institution trying to apply its methods to Postmoderns who are doing business in a Postmodern world. TransWorld Skateboarding is stunningly successful as a business, and Time, Inc. could learn a thing or two from these guys, if only they’d get off their pedestal.

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