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mmb – what really is happening

The facts as they are:-

1) Cabal Communications have suspended publication
of MMB, and there will be no new issues produced until a new publisher is found.

2) Editor Guy Kesteven was made redundant before
Christmas, and is currently working on a new magazine to be launched by Future Publishing
(more details later).

3) Though just after Christmas, there was hope
of continuing publishing the magazine with a new publisher, that has come to nothing
as yet.

This letter was sent to subscribers which should be received today…

“I am writing to inform you that Cabal Communications
Ltd. have decided to suspend publication of Maximum Mountain Bike with immediate
“Accordingly, there will not be a March 2000 issue published, and we are currently
trying to find a new publisher to continue the magazine in the future.
“Your subscription has also been suspended until a new publisher takes over
the magazine, when you will continue to receive copies a normal.
However, if you would prefer to cancel your subscription and receive a refund, please
contact our customer service centre on 01454 620070.
“I am sorry for this disruption to the supply of your magazine, and I assure
you we are dedicated to finding a new home for the magazine as soon as possible.
Kevin Hickman,
Subscriptions Manager.”

To give his side, we talked to editor Guy Kesteven

Wasn’t it meant to be bought and saved?
There were plans to carry on with a skeleton crew as an independent mag, but the
backing fell through after it was realised how much the magazine distributors would
screw us for as a small company. We keep hearing that various people have bought
it but that’s news to us, as we’ve all gone to pastures new to pay the bills. Too
many Sundays spent riding put the spoilers on Easter ressurection options anyway.

How come it wasn’t an enormous success?
People seemed to like it and we were getting really good response to features and
tests. The industry and advertisers were getting really good response from anything
featured way above the level you’d expect for our circulation. At the end of the
day we needed longer for the small group of dedicated trailhead readers who’d been
ignored by mags for so long to realise we were trying to write a mag for them. Various
magazines pay a bit of lip service to “epic routes etc.” but there’s no
feel or understanding about it in the editorial, but it takes a while for people
to realise that. When there are nearly a dozen magazines all chasing the same coinage
that doesn’t help either.

So no chance of a comeback?
The magazine was increasing sales and gaining
advertisers with every issue, so perhaps there’s life in that species of old dog
yet. The sort of magazine for the “thinking” rider. There’s certainly a
skip full of feature ideas and other stuff but – as they say in the music business
– we’re pursuing solo projects. A comeback tour isn’t out of the question though,
if people have got some lottery cash burning a hole in their pockets.

But you must be gutted?
There’s no point crying, it stops you seeing
where you’re riding. Huge thanks to everyone for the support, whether they worked
for us, bought us, advertised with us or sent us stuff to test, it really wouldn’t
have been possible without you.

Did you set out to fill the mag with pictures of you? I remember always trying to
leave out pics of me when I was doing mbr and mmb.

It’s not an ego thing, I was just cheaper than using real people, or hiring the dummies
in the winter issue again. You always got me to ride instead of you anyhow. Plus
if anyone is using the fitness plan in the last issue I’d like to hear how it works
it out. We spent weeks getting it to work out somewhere near right in theory but
it’s the practical side that counts. We’d like to know if it really works.

So what are you doing now?
I’ve joined “What mountain bike”
– a new quarterly test based magazine with Steve Worland and Seb Rogers. It should
be a bit of a bikers bible, but means less time on the phone, more time on the bike.
Musn’t grumble.


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