Geezerjock magazine sold, promises muscular growth

Geezerjock’s August issue. The September issue will sell for $4.95 at selected newsstands.

Geezerjock magazine, previously available only by mail, hits the newsstands for the first time with the September issue. (Check out my article on Orono nationals, with my wife’s photos.) But when the glossy masters book begins appearing at Borders and Waldenbooks in the next few weeks, the big news is between the lines: It has a new owner. As of Aug. 1, Orlando-based Turnstile Publishing Co. has been in charge. But not to worry. The three-man band in Chicago that launched this Sports Illustrated for age-groupers is still in place and thrilled to have new marketing muscle help the mag from the City of Broad Shoulders. Editor Sean Callahan, who knows masters track, shared the news in a phone chat tonight.

Sean says, “They believe in us, and we believe in them” and told me that Turnstile has promised to invest in the magazine, providing the financial and marketing resources it’s lacked up until now.
With a circulation of 50,000 (and a growing proportion of paying subscribers), Geezerjock aspires to bigger things — more pages and many more readers, Sean says. But the core group behind the magazine (also including Publisher Brian Reilly and advertising chief Bill Ferguson) didn’t have the money to do what it wanted. Too many articles, not enough space to put them.
So Turnstile’s acquisition of GeezerJock Media LLC — for an amount Sean won’t dilvulge — holds the promise of turning a media phenomenon into a publishing powerhouse.
Among other things, Turnstile wants to go big on video — posting clips on the Geezerjock site. Sean says Turnstile has already proved its publishing pedigree with Golfweek magazine (and other sports titles).
In the mid-1990s, Rodale Press bought National Masters News, but didn’t invest a cent. Not the case with this sale, Sean assures me.
“Basically, they have patience” in Geezerjock’s growth prospects, Sean told me. Turnstile also shares the philosophy of Crain Communications, Sean’s previous employer. The new owner likes to invest in editorial (the content side of a publication) as a way of building the subscriber base.
In other words, better content and more of it equals better circulation.
More than three years ago, I wrote this about Geezerjock for the first time:

It’s my hope — and expectation — that Callahan’s crew will give the amazing range of masters sports the kind of attention we’ve long deserved. I’m not talking about fawning amazement that we’re still competing. I’m talking about pieces that will help us become better athletes, and give nongeezerjocks nuanced and sophisticated insights into what makes us tick.

GJ delivered on its promise.
Now the baton passes to Turnstile.
I hope they deliver, too.

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August 22, 2007

2 Responses

  1. Mr. Incredible - August 22, 2007

    Will they grandfather our free subscriptions or does everyone have to start paying the newsstand price?
    It’s a nice little magazine, but for me to pay $5 an issue, it will need to have a lot more content then it does now. I would like to see more than just the geezer jock of the year nominees in every issue. I would like to see more training programs and profiles outlined.

  2. Ken Stone - August 23, 2007

    I neglected to add to my post:
    I’m pretty sure that GJ will honor all charter subscriptions ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú- the folks who get the magazine for free for a certain time frame.
    Sean Callahan says new subscriptions will remain the same: 30 issues for $40 or 18 issues for $30.

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