Mountain Gazette Sold to GSM Media

Mountain Gazette, an iconic publication that chronicles the West’s mountain culture, has new owners. GSM Media bought the magazine this month. The investment group intends to maintain Mountain Gazette’s unique editorial perspective and the magazine’s offices will remain in Frisco, Colorado.
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FRISCO, CO — Mountain Gazette, an iconic publication that chronicles the West's mountain culture, has new owners. GSM Media bought the magazine this month. The investment group intends to maintain Mountain Gazette's unique editorial perspective and the magazine's offices will remain in Frisco, Colorado.

Editor John Fayhee remains with the publication. Fayhee was a key member of the team that resurrected Mountain Gazette in 2000 after the legendary original, which featured the early work of Ed Abbey and other prominent western writers, was closed. Current contributors include Charles Bowden, George Sibley and Dick Dorworth.
Chris Hickey, the magazine's advertising sales director, continues his role and will take on added responsibility in overall management. Hickey has been at Mountain Gazette for five years. Marisa Murphy, office manager, also remains on staff.

In addition, the new owners have hired Carter Kirkpatrick as a sales associate. Kirkpatrick is a recent Oregon State graduate with a degree in sports marketing.

Paul Gibb, an investment partner, will oversee the magazine's day-to-day financial operations. Gibb, a financial consultant and long-time fan of Mountain Gazette, lives in Paonia, Colorado. He also is the financial advisor to High Country News—a widely distributed magazine for readers interested in environmental and land issues in the West.

Gibb said he was attracted to Mountain Gazette because of its “irreverent, honest and thought-provoking style of journalism.”

Also part of GSM Media is Marc Sani, a magazine and newspaper veteran with 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and publisher. He is currently publisher of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, a magazine he helped found in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1991. Today it is a leading trade journal in the bicycle industry with an international base of subscribers.

Sani is also the former publisher of New Mexico Magazine, a widely read consumer magazine in the travel and tourism arena. Sani, a former reporter for the Associated Press, has worked at several western newspapers during his career. He also helped launch New Mexico's Environmental Law Center in the 1990s. He is a backcountry skier, hiker, sea kayaker and cyclist.

Rounding out the investment team is Felix Magowan, chief executive officer of Inside Communications, a Boulder, Colorado, media company. The company publishes VeloNews, a leading international journal of competitive cycling, and Inside Triathlon, a leading publication among multi-sport enthusiasts.

Magowan is a former competitive cyclist who, with several partners, bought the underperforming VeloNews in 1988 and turned it into the industry's most consistently profitable cycling magazine. Magowan is a cyclist, hiker and skier with deep knowledge of the West, its history and environmental issues.

“We think we have a great staff at Mountain Gazette with John, Chris, Carter and Marisa on the staff. And the addition of Carter will help improve our sales reach,” said Gibb, noting that the new owners bring a wealth of publishing experience and love of the outdoors to the venture.

“While we want to maintain the overall appeal of Mountain Gazette, we also hope to make some significant improvements over the next year,” Gibb added. They include improving the print quality, the website, and reviewing and expanding distribution. Currently, the magazine claims a circulation of 65,000 with a 10-month publishing schedule. Starting next year the magazine will be published monthly.

The magazine can be found in select locations throughout Colorado, cities and towns in Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, Washington, California and select locations on the East Coast. “We would like improve on its wide and highly targeted distribution,” Gibb said, with the goal of increasing circulation to 100,000 copies per month.

In addition the new owners want to focus more effort on improving paid subscriptions and giving Fayhee the tools he needs to make Mountain Gazette a “must read” publication.

“We are committed to good journalism and good stewardship of this publication which has such a vibrant history in the mountain communities of the West,” Gibb, Sani and Magowan and said in a joint statement.

For more information please contact Paul Gibb, GSM Media LLC, at (720) 201-7972 or reach him by email at pgibb@mountaingazette.com, or contact Chris Hickey, advertising director, at (970) 513-9865 or by email at hickey@mountaingazette.com.

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