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Even though he owned the company, ten years of working construction was taking a physical toll on Matt Emery. He decided to return to college and resume his studies in something that really interested him: photojournalism.
While still in college, Emery hit as many car, truck and motorcycle shows as he could, always looking out for who looked like they knew what they were doing, and asked who they were shooting for. It was this plan of action that got him his first freelance assignment; shooting the Hollywood sign for Tattoo magazine.
While at a Super Chevy show, Emery ran across “a guy in a ratty Hot Bike shirt who asked me what I was doing.” That guy was Steve Stillwell, then the leader of the truck group at McMullen/Yee. “He made the mistake of telling me to give him a call to show him what I’d shot,” says Emery. “I called him every week for months!” That led to freelance work and then a staff position on Truckin’ Magazine. Within a year, Emery was the editor of Classic Trucks Magazine.
When John Dianna started Buckaroo Communications, he hand-picked 5 editors, and Emery was one of them. Emery was the Executive Editor for the fledgling truck group, which included Truck Builder, 4x4 Builder, Diesel Builder and others. Emery also supplied stories for Street Rod Builder and many other Buckaroo titles.
Seeing that Buckaroo’s days were coming to an end, Emery made the jump to Dirt Sports, where he was named Tech Editor. This stint lasted until Drive! Magazine came calling and Emery was named editor, a job he held for 3 years. In the first 6 months of his taking over, ad sales jumped 30%. It was during this time that Emery transformed the look of the magazine into what it remains to this day.
Emery saw that video-based social media was the next big thing, so he began taking video production classes at UC Riverside, where he honed his skills. Emery believes that it was this video experience that landed him the job as editor of the newly renamed Dirt Sports + Off Road.
A long time off-road racer in both motorcycles and cars, Emery is now using the nearly 25 years of editorial experience and contacts he’s acquired to helm Dirt Sports + Off-Road, and to take the property into the digital future.