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The action-sports media landscape saw enormous consolidation today with the announcement that Bonnier Corporation has sold its TransWorld Media properties to GrindMedia, the action-sports division of Source Interlink Media. The deal includes the TransWorld SKATEboarding, TransWorld SNOWboarding, TransWorld SURF, TransWorld Ride BMX, TransWorld Motocross and TransWorld Business magazines and online properties, as well as the TransWorld.tv online video site.
Norb Garrett, senior vice-president of GrindMedia, said specific terms of the deal will not be made public, but that the plan is to continue to grow and develop the TransWorld Media brand even though many of those properties compete with GrindTV.com and many of the magazines already in the GrindMedia portfolio, which includes Surfer, Surfing, Powder, Snowboarder, Dirt Rider and Skateboarder, among others. "Ultimately the foundation of the deal is that it's a strategic move by GrindMedia to deepen its relationships with consumers and brands in the action, adventure and outdoors space," he told XGames.com
"We've been told that no print titles will be affected by the deal, but other than that there's not a lot of information out there yet," said Mike Lewis, editor of TransWorld Business.
"The plan is for all of those brands to continue just as they are today," Garrett confirmed. "About 10 years ago we put Surfer and Surfing under the same roof, to tremendous success, and we see huge strength in having multiple brands in the same vertical category, especially because we believe very strongly in these communities and because our editors and sales teams and everybody involved live and breathe the action-sports lifestyle."
News of the GrindMedia deal comes just weeks after Bonnier Corp. sold its Ski and Skiing magazine titles to Active Interest Media; Bonnier bought all of the magazine properties from Time Inc. in 2007 as part of a $225 million deal. But as Bonnier sheds these properties, Garrett says he sees tremendous opportunity in expanding them both in print and online and says growing online video channels for each brand, in a manner akin to the GrindTV/Yahoo! Sports channels, will be a priority.
Garrett and Bonnier CEO Dave Freygang met with executives at TransWorld Media today to discuss the transition.
"Out of respect for the folks in that building and the fact that this is all new for a lot of people, I'd prefer to say nothing other than that I'm personally very excited about bringing these two businesses together and continuing to evolve these businesses," Garrett said of the meeting. "There have been a handful of executive changes that were made today in areas of overlap and redundancy, but there are no changes planned at all on any of the editorial teams."
In a statement released today, Freygang wrote, "The TransWorld brands demonstrated vision in how their audiences were changing the way they consumed content, and their efforts to adapt to these changes have provided valuable lessons for elsewhere within Bonnier ... We wish them all well with GrindMedia."