If you're an off-road enthusiast and enjoy reading about our sport, you may be aware that Primedia, the automotive publishing juggernaut that produces Off-Road magazine, also publishes Four Wheeler and 4-Wheel & Off-Road. What? You didn't know? Sorry about that - now you know the truth.
The reason I mention the other off-road magazines is to point out that Off-Road is unique in a market segment that seemingly rewards copycats. Maybe it sounds like fluff, but the editorial, art, and production staff of this magazine actually believes in our product. And we think we're on the verge of something big in regards to industry respect and reader satisfaction.
How so? Well, for several years, we've been fine-tuning the editorial content of Off-Road, with the specific intent of creating a magazine unlike Four Wheeler or 4Wheel & Off-Road. It hasn't been easy to create a niche for this magazine, and we're far from our ultimate goals, but there's an honest buzz regarding the new look and focus of Off-Road, and it's exciting to realize that the hard work we're putting into the magazine is paying off.
One aspect that's coming into sharper focus is our specialization in late-model, fullsize trucks. That's not to say we don't run tech or features on vintage iron or compact trucks, but a majority of the magazine's content is big trucks, in 4x4 versions as well as 2WDs. Something else that sets us apart is our continuing coverage of performance prerunners and race trucks. The prerunner and race truck fanatics out there are being served by but one major magazine: Off-Road. No other magazine is even remotely interested in these high-tech wonders.
Furthermore, while the "big" off-road magazines concentrate on mud bogs and thrashed trucks, we're not afraid to run a feature on a show-worthy truck. We're the only monthly publication with continuing coverage of the SCORE desert racing series, and 2003 will see the addition of the way-popular CORR series to the pages of this magazine.
Our tech stories are coming into sharper focus now that we've added Technical Editor Mike Finnegan to the staff. Mike's a true gearhead and truck builder/fabricator who's not afraid to dive into a subject and serve up the relevant details. However, he still hasn't grasped my sarcastic wit; I'll just have to keep trying.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the building success of this magazine is a team effort. Our Group Managing Editor, Daniel Rivera, and our Copy Editor, Vanessa Roveto, do a masterful job of turning the staff's sometimes rough copy into professional-level stories. Art Director Brad Crowder is the man behind the slick look of Off-Road magazine, and I'll put his artistic talent up against the big boys and their multi-person art departments any day.
At the top of the food chain is Dave Withrow, our Group Publisher, who has taken every possible opportunity to elevate this magazine to a high profile in the industry and to make improvements to our package in regards to overall size and distribution. Dave also has the last word on covers and cover blurbs, and it works: Off-Road's covers simply beat the you-know-what out of the competition. Kevin Wilson, Editorial Director and part-time intimidator, is responsible for the editorial content of this magazine, and Kevin has allowed us the freedom to find OFF-ROAD's place in the crowded magazine marketplace. Advertising Director Steve VonSeggern and Ad Sales Manager David Hamilton help make the magazine profitable, while Production Coordinator Lisa Holland makes sure the editorial and advertising pages are just where we want them. Finally, there's my old buddy Randall Jachmann. When RJ took over this magazine three years ago, it was a very different publication. After I came on board as Managing Editor, Randall and I found a shared vision that we call "the vibe," as it relates to trick rides and functional modifications. Today, although I'm the Editor, Randall continues to be an integral part of Off-Road magazine, and "the vibe" remains strong.
We're trying our damnedest to make Off-Road magazine a publication that entertains and informs enthusiasts in a manner like no other. I'm always interested in what this magazine's readers have to say, so let me know if you've got something on your mind.
Until next month.