SBC Media Files for Bankruptcy; Initial interest from new buyers

SBC Media closes their doors; Shuts down Snowboard Canada, SBC Skateboard Magazine, & SBC Skier among other publications

Our friends at SBC Media announced Monday they have filed for bankruptcy. The Canadian publishing company that has delivered Snowboard Canada, SBC Business, SBC Skateboard, SBC Skier, SBC Wakeboard, amongst other titles, have closed their doors.

Investors, who stepped in during 2014 to breathe new life into the media group, made the decision to cut additional funding short of an earlier agreement with the team at SBC Media. “We were surprised,” says Scott Birke, group editorial director for SBC Media. “We underwent a refocusing last year to offer more options to our partners and advertisers.” The initial realignment involved a heavier digital content approach. Under the reinvestment, SBC’s publications went through a restructuring and had one year to grow the business. “We were moving in a positive trajectory. So it came as a surprise when they withdrew their support earlier than we thought,” admits Birke.

Carrying funding through the Fall would have allowed SBC to leverage their winter issues like Snowboard Canada and SBC Ski, their “bread and butter” as Birke explained. The news came mid-production. “The newest issue of SBC Business is completed. We hope to see it go to the printer, but that would be through a new buyer.”

Several companies have already been rumored to have expressed initial interest in buying the publications. Although Birke seems hopeful some of the titles will live on, touting the excellence of the editorial teams who make up these magazines, he explains, “I don’t see SBC Media continuing as a company but possibly another media company forming from the dust.”

I don’t believe this is a signal that our endemic action sports media is on the way out. I see people posting this as a sign of the times, that print media is dead. Print was down a bit from last year, but it was still extremely sustainable. We were creating new and creative ways for our partners to invest in our content, complementing it with print and online.

The news comes in the wake of Factory Media’s unexpected announcement in March of this year, moving all production away from print and focusing only on digital and video properties. The global snowboarding media landscape is arguably changing, but Birke advocates it is not a reflection of the industry’s health.

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