Good bye, printed SNEWS®.
Our loyal bathroom-break readers will miss you. Ditto, those on the routing slip as monthly copies surreptitiously made the rounds of your offices.
For me, there's a bit of nostalgia looking back at our first 8-page issues 18 years ago when we had 50 loyal subscribers. Those first issues were printed on any type of colored paper our printer happened to have in stock. Then, as we grew, and people started illegally copying parts of the newsletter, we entered our "orange period." Orange paper with black printing worked (an idea given us by fellow newspaper publisher John Horan), since nobody could copy the newsletter and pass it around. But, boy, was it an eye-jarring read.
But, orange we were, and it gained us some notoriety. I remember the first time I met Salomon founder Georges Salomon at Salomon's headquarters in Metz-Tessy, France. As we shook hands an aide whispered something to Mr. Salomon who then turned to me and said, in French, "Ah ha, the man from the orange paper."
Over the years, orange gave way to white, gave way to better design, and eventually gave way to the web. Going to the web realized my long-held dream to give the outdoor community timely information, cutting-edge news, and regular product reviews, as well as a good helping of attitude and humor -- not just once a month, but daily. With the leap to the web under the guidance of new partners and publishers Michael Hodgson and Therese Iknoian, we have also been able to add fitness news, international news, and a slew of other valuable features. Not to mention SNEWS® now counts subscribers upward of 1,000, and growing daily.
Looking back on 18 years of a printed version of SNEWS®, I'd be remiss in not mentioning a few people. First, my thanks to former Trak Ski Company executive Don Johnson. I broached the idea of starting an outdoor industry newsletter with Don on a long ski tour in the Oregon Cascades 20 years ago. Don didn't scoff at the idea, but in his most diplomatic way said, "It'll never fly." Obviously, I felt differently!
It's also important to recognize my original partner in SNEWS®, Ted Eugenis. Ted came back to Oregon after editing NOON (National Outdoor Outfitters News), the first outdoor industry trade magazine, and he immediately jumped on the idea of creating SNEWS® together.(SNEWS® stands for Specialty NEWS, but all know it simply as SNEWS®, pronounced, "snooze" though the read is anything but sleepy!) Soon, we added Chris Hughes, who was with us for years as a reporter and our chief prankster. And then there were all those wonderful freelance reporters we used over the years: John Knowlton, Nick Giustina, Ariadne Delon Scott, Sara Whitner, Amy Sinclair, and Kristen Carpenter, to name a few. And special thanks to Stuart Craig who took SNEWS® from a bland design to something very clean and readable during his tenure as managing editor.
We're all electronic now. And we're better for it. Cheers to e-SNEWS® and its continued growth!
-- Bob Woodward, founder, SNEWS®