Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big News for Malt Advocate

The magazine I've been with longer than almost any other, Malt Advocate, has been sold to M. Shanken Communications (the publishers of Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado, Food Arts, Market Watch, and Impact). This is big news for whisky-lovers -- Malt Advocate is the clear leader in the American market, and thanks to John Hansell's blog, What Does John Know?, a world leader as well -- and it's also big news for me.

The details are here. It's a great opportunity to increase the magazine's circulation, given the experience and resources the parent company now brings. We'll have opportunities to do more stories, maybe go to 6 issues a year, and get more support for WhiskyFests.

If you're worried about what it might mean for the quality and independence of the magazine...don't be. John's made it clear to me and to Mr. Shanken that the magazine will continue an independent path, without connection between editorial and advertising, the same as it's been from the beginning. John will continue as editor and publisher, his wife Amy will continue as events director, the offices will stay in Emmaus with the same staff. I'm still the managing editor, and the writers are still the same.

But we've got a chance to bring you more Malt Advocate now. Time for us to join the big leagues.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I figured this would get lost on the many many comments on John's post. Lots of folks there seem to be worried that advertising would infringe on editorial and content now that Shanken has bought Malt Advocate. I subscribed to Wine Spectator for over a decade and never saw any evidence that advertising affected content. Advertisers' wines got bad reviews as well as good reviews. Some columnists were mightily rough on some larger winemakers that advertised in the Spectator. The adherence to blind tasting paid off for the Spectator; and Shanken backed up his columnists and writers when they pointed out problems with wineries. I don't think anybody has anything to worry about.