Under normal circumstances anyone who told me they were going to launch a new magazine would get the full force of my cynicism and a suggestion that it would probably be a lot less risky and more profitable to start up a combi-taxi operation employing only AWB drivers in full uniform and flying the old South African flag from the radio aerial.
The magazine industry in South Africa and worldwide, for that matter, is a highly competitive arena awash with the blood of the victims of failure - many of them titles that have been around for ages.
So, why didn't I look former Leadership
editor, Robbie Stammers, in the eye and slap him around the ears for his abject stupidity when he said he was going to start a new magazine?
Well, it is simply because young Robbie is someone who, in my book, knows how to make magazines work.
One just has to look back at what he achieved with Leadership
, which before he took over as editor, was a mere shadow of its former self and heading inexorably for the gallows.
His editorship was not just about creating quality content, such as his personal one-on-one interviews with the likes of Richard Branson and other global leaders in business and politics, but he also had the knack of creating readable and reader-acceptable advertorial.
Which is very much in keeping with the modern notion that paid-for content and advertorial is now not as unacceptable as it was 10 years ago. If it provides quality, well-written information, it has high levels of consumer appeal. Times Media Group's SA Homeowner
is an excellent case in point.
Stammers has just launched the first issue of The Intrepid Explorer
, which offers readers to "live the life of adventure."
And yes, it is playing in a very competitive environment and against some very heavy hitters, such as Getaway
to mention just one.
A great alliance
But, where Stammers has been clever is not to make the mistake of just doing this on his own. He is publishing and editing The Intrepid Explorer
in partnership with Cape Union Mart - probably one of the biggest and most respected adventure/outdoor retail brands in the country.
That alone will make this magazine successful given the potential for suppliers to Cape Union Mart taking up advertising. Apart from that, I see that Land Rover is also in the first issue and intends, I am told, to keep advertising.
But, in addition to the tie up with Cape Union Mart, Stammers has managed to put together an editorial contribution team made up of some of the biggest names in adventure in this country - Ronnie Muhl, Angus Begg, Bram Malherbe, Kingsly Holgate, Dr Ian Player, Roy Watts and Graham Howe to mention but a few.
It is not often that a media commentator can write positively about print these days but the launch of The Intrepid Explorer
magazine is one of those rare cases that makes complete publishing sense.