Corporate Media Strikes Again

Robin Thurston, a tech millionaire and former owner of MapMyFitness, has continued to fulfill his vision of turning his Outside umbrella of brands into the “Amazon Prime of the outdoor media world.”

Trail Runner and Climbing magazines are being shifted online only as Thurston’s parent company Outside Media will cease print publication of 80% of their dozens of magazines.

A representative with Denver based PR firm Ink Communications responded to an inquiry about Trail Runner with a statement boasting of Outside’s acquisitions and “quadrupled paid membership,” adding that “Outside made the difficult but necessary decision to reduce headcount as the publishing industry as a whole moves online.”

It is unclear at this time how many jobs will be lost at Trail Runner and Climbing but layoffs have already begun according to social media reports from former employees.

Thurston and Outside are betting big that the future of outdoor media is apps and phone-based content with consumer data tracking and subscription paywalls. Some within the outdoor publishing landscape are questioning these moves. “Corporate outdoor media is in the process of losing its soul,” said ASJ editor Matt Niswonger in response to the layoffs.