New owners of NMN share goal: Get the word out about our sport

March 2014 issue of NMN is first under new ownership.

Meet the new owners of National Masters News: Tish Ceccarelli and Amanda Scotti. They’ve graciously consented to spilling the beans on their backgrounds and plans for the iconic monthly publication. Tish grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, studied art in college and worked as a graphic artist and later as a freelance children’s book illustrator. Worked for NMN since 2007. A self-proclaimed “mental health runner,” Tish has been running since 1980. Amanda was born and raised in Oregon, ran track in the 1970s for a successful high school program and attended Clackamas Community College on track and journalism scholarships and was a key member of the 1978 NJCAA Championship squad. She eventually transferred to Auburn University where she met her future spouse Olympian Brian Abshire. Amanda moved to California in 1988, and also lives in Folsom with her two teen sons and “a very eccentric boxer.” Tish adds that several years ago she began competing in the 800 and 1500. She met the All American standard in the 5K. She lives in Folsom, California, with her husband, twin teen sons and two dogs — a collie and a sheltie.

Here’s my Q&A with the new faces behind the 37-year-old magazine. NMN has always catered to trackfolk and roadies, but the long-distance crowd seems to have been the main focus under Randy. Will this change under your ownership? How will you balance the LDR and T&F components?

Amanda and Tish: Actually, the majority of the subscribers to NMN are masters track and field competitors.  Our largest goal, the one most important to us both, is to bring more participants in, all spectrums of our sports. So many people have no idea that this fabulous opportunity to compete even exists!  Our intent is to keep a balance between the interests.

NMN has received annual $5,000 USATF stipends for years. What is USATF getting for this money?  

Well, right off the bat, USATF receives fourteen full-page regional ads per year, plus four championship ads.  This is a $7,200 value, at minimum.  We also dedicate an entire page each issue to the USATF masters track chairman to use to reach out to the masters membership, share news, etc.  We devote another entire page to the USATF officers information, providing contact information.  Many of our regular writers are officers with USATF and keep our membership updated on the workings of our sport.  We are very open to helping USATF promote our sport and are happy to provide a forum to do so.

With the USATF stipend and semi-official status, NMN must be conscious not to offend USATF.  Can NMN be an independent voice as it was in its early years?  

Certainly we can. We have no intention of offending anyone. Our goal is to get the word out about our sport, show support for those already in it and encourage those new to it.  We see ourselves as an independent partner of USATF with common objectives.

What is your social media strategy?  Will you continue sending “e-alerts” to subscribers? 

We certainly intend to revamp our website, and are planning to modernize and maintain the Facebook page. Yes, we do intend to continue to send out E-News Alerts to our subscribers, it’s a part of the subscription package that we offer. It also offers another advertising venue for our vendors and event promoters.

What is your current paid circulation, and how much is needed to have a profitable enterprise?  

That one is classified information, my friend.  :-)

Who will be your main staff and contributors — can you list names and titles?

Amanda and Tish are, of course, the publishers and main contributors. We have “regular” contributors in the form of writers and photographers as well as, I guess you’d call them, rotating contributors, those who work on a semi-regular basis. The masthead will change each issue to list the particular contributors of that edition along with the staff.  

We encourage meet directors to send in their own short write-ups of their events along with results, submissions by anyone of photos, suggestions and ideas.  We truly welcome membership input, we feel this magazine belongs not just to us but to every masters track and running athlete.

Will rates for advertising and subscriptions change? If so, higher or lower?

Not at this time. No changes. We have added some additional advertising options, including a direct-mail option and E-News Alert advertising. 

What changes are you mulling for the NMN website? 

We plan to declutter it and make it much easier to navigate.  We’d like a more modern looking product, a project we’ve already begun.

Will you post video or photos on your website? Or start a YouTube channel?

No plans to do so.

What role does NMN play in growing the masters track movement?  

Again, to get the word out that we are here! Speaking from a personal note, I played competitive softball in my 30s and 40s to get that “team sport” fix I missed from my college and running days. I also ran a marathon and various distance races to stay fit — all the while wishing there was track for people my age. Had no idea until 2007 that there actually was! If we can promote our sport with this venue (the magazine), by being visible at more masters and seniors events, by sharing information with outlets that serve the type of community we seek, I think we can grow our ranks.

Why should masters athletes who have never seen NMN consider subscribing?

The Baby Boomer Generation, as we’ve all been hearing/reading, are not the seniors of old (pun intended). They are active; they are competitive. This magazine offers them a chance to see what their peers are doing, to see how they measure up, and to see how much fun it can be.  

We provide a forum for USATF to spread the word about a great masters program and for writers to express to all of us what a tremendous thing it is to still be able to do that which we love at any age. We provide nutritional and training advice as well as meet write-ups and current events. It is an honor for us to steer this ship at this point in time; we promise to do our best and to listen to the advice and suggestions of our subscribers.

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February 19, 2014

6 Responses

  1. Mary Harada - February 19, 2014

    I am delighted that NMN continues on and the new ownership sounds great. Good luck to the new owners, I look forward to many more editions of this essential publication. Where would masters running – on any surface be without National Masters News and Ken Stone’s blog too!

  2. Liz Palmer - February 19, 2014

    And if you’re at the indoor national championship meet in Boston, stop by the NMN booth to say hello to Tish and Amanda, renew your subscription, and check out the revamped AA gear. See you there!

  3. Amanda Scotti - February 20, 2014

    Thank you Ken for the “shout out” about the changes at NMN, we sure appreciate the support!
    And thanks Mary and Liz for the very positive replies!

  4. Marcus battle - February 20, 2014

    Cover the jumps

  5. John Seto - February 20, 2014

    Congratulations to Amanda and Tish! You will surely excel with this and carry on the tradition really well.

  6. Gman - February 20, 2014

    Need more stories about the “common” Masters runner..maybe human interest…not just glorifying our best masters runners over and over.

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