June 28, 2013

Snyder sells outdoor magazine

Out There Monthly buyers plan a broader reach
The Spokesman-Review
 

In the struggle between government and media, chalk this one up to government.

Jon Snyder has sold his free outdoor publication, Out There Monthly, in preparation for a tough re-election bid to the Spokane City Council.

“Having two kids, two careers – two jobs – and running for re-election, Out There ended up being the odd man out,” Snyder, 44, said. “It just had to happen.”

He now faces two election challengers, former state lawmaker John Ahern and health care executive LaVerne Biel.

Ahern, 78, represented the Spokane area in the state House of Representatives for 10 years.

Biel, 60, is the CEO of Access Unified Networks, which provides data systems for health care.

Also, since Snyder last ran, his district grew by about 2,000 people when the city annexed a portion of the West Plains.

Snyder has represented District 2 since 2009, when he defeated incumbent Councilman Mike Allen for the seat.

Allen returned to the council two years later.

When he founded the magazine in 2004, Snyder said one of his top goals was to get Spokane recognition as an outdoor mecca.

When Outside magazine named Spokane as one the “best towns” to live in this year, Snyder said he felt “like mission accomplished.”

Derrick and Shallan Knowles, who are married, bought the magazine from Snyder two weeks ago. He’s a longtime contributor to the magazine, and she just finished the graphic design program at Spokane Falls Community College.

“We just thought we had the skills and the background to make improvements and take the magazine to the next level,” said Derrick Knowles, 38.

Their goal is to “broaden the reach” of the publication by covering recreation from Sandpoint to Wallowa County, Ore. They also plan to add more advertising and get the magazine’s page count back to the mid-20s, its 2008 level. They are working to overhaul the magazine’s website, due to go live later this summer.

Knowles said he would follow the lead of Snyder, who occasionally used his “From the Editor” column to wade into outdoor-oriented political issues.

“I don’t think you can really participate without cautiously wading into the challenges and controversies that bubble up around outdoors issues,” he said.

“We want to provide a forum for a good debate.”


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