Print publications continue to take a beating as ad dollars shrink and the plethora of designer-fashion or sexy men’s titles shrivel. First there was CosmoGirl, then the 116-year-old DNR (from which WWD actually started), then Men’s Vogue scaling back to 2 inserts in Vogue. Now, Conde Nast has announced they must shrink its head-count 5% somehow, someway. So who got the boot so far? Editor Peter Newcomb from Vanity Fair who’s now going to a “contributing editor,” plus 3 other staffers. Then there’s Lisa Jordan Helms, publisher/advertising director who will be leaving Vogue, and Beth Altschull, the special projects director from GQ.
Interestingly however, certain forms of media, especially online and/or having to do with global youth culture continue to grow (and we’re not talking about the so-called surprise hit of the teen-vamp movie “Twilight” which isn’t really a surprise to us at all (and let’s not even get started with what we knew would be a guaranteed success of the relaunched archival punk-girl flick “The Fabulous Stains”). While print in certain genres is petering-out and the movie industry continues to not get it, Fuel TV, a leading action sports TV network is expanding. Last week we received a flurry of press releases–almost as though despite hard times for some, they just had a lot of new stuff going on. First, they are firing-up a new second season of “Camp Woodward” based on the world’s premiere action sports camp airing Sunday February 15 at 8:30 EST, staring 2 teenage skaters and one BMXer as they head to Camp Woodward in Pennsylvania, following the course of their camp experiences, trials, and tribulations.
Secondly, they are launching their premium shows on HD streaming video player created by Move Networks on their website www.fuel.tv including the show “The Great Ride Open” which is only available on their site. It will also feature the “Oakley Arctic Challenge,” “The Standard Snowboard Show,” “Firsthand,” and others. What’s cool about this is that Fuel TV, which we still can’t believe is the only television network dedicated to action sports, will now be offering HD sports online.
According to John Edwards, the CEO of Move Networks, “Providing internet audiences with a similar, high-quality television experience gives viewers a new way to experience the action, and offers FUEL TV a new way to increase overall viewership.” Of course this makes sense since most people within our generation tend to watch programs online anyway. Some other shows from Fuel TV can be found at Hulu.com and paid download via iTunes.
Finally, Fuel TV, which is owned by Fox Cable Networks, reached a deal with DirectTV and Verizon FiOS and will now be launching On Demand service for Fuel TV shows.
All of this of course is great news for the action sports industry, athletes, and fans, but also, along with the unexpected youth market movie hits, mags, books, and blogs that are still popular and growing, it’s time for some in the entertainment industry to take a fresh look at how youth culture plans on shaping their future entertainment patterns.