Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Scuba Diving Magazine Sold

I have been very closely affiliated with Scuba Diving Magazine over the past 9-years as Director of Photography and author of a monthly photo column. Happily so, for the people I worked with at the magazine are a talented and inspired group, and I think we did some exceptional work together. But, the publishing business is a fluid environment and last Wednesday we were informed that the magazine had been sold to Bonnier, the parent company of a wide variety of magazines, including Sport Diver. The news release announcing the sale is at

I don't personally know what will happen with Scuba Diving and their website,, under its new ownership; but assume it will flourish in some new incarnation, and I wish them well.

But, I feel a special affection for the people who were the Scuba Diving we knew and loved. People like editor/publisher Keith Phillips, who worked tirelessly to perpetuate his vision for the magazine. Beyond tirelessly, really. The man is a machine, dedicated entirely to doing what he could to make Scuba Diving the best it could be. Iris Stein and Moira Honeyman were a stellar art team, ultra-talented and truly a pleasure to collaborate with. Marketing Director Susan Smith knew the magazine intimately at all levels, and kept it sailing forward all these years, from the very beginning. Advertising art director Brittany Boits and ad business director Jodi Deem handled their divisions with excellence as well. Patricia Wuest is a brilliant editor, a valued colleague, and also a 16-year veteran of the magazine.

The web team of Nick Lucey, Emily Cook, and John Collenberger did quite amazing things with with such a small staff ... a credit to their work ethic and talent. And then there were the other editors who kept me on track with deadlines and excellent insight into how to craft my words better or more concisely. Thanks to Travis Marshall and Gil Griffin for that. While I did not work with them directly, the Scuba Lab team of Bill Kendig and John Brum performed a valued reader service in terms of offering emprical and unbiased testing on a wide variety of dive gear. One of the most popular columns in the magazine, Lessons for Life, was authored by by Mike Ange.

The sales staff was likewise terrific. Led by National Sales Manager Travis Gainsley, the team of Steve Eisenberg and Sharon Mariner managed to cover the wide-world of scuba manufacturing, photo equipment, and dive travel; again with a small staff, talent, creativity, and lots of passion.

To all these people, and others so important to my life over the years that have drifted in an out of the Scuba Diving constellation, both as a Rodale and an F+W publication ... Dane Farnum (who had the vision to entice me to Scuba Diving from Skin Diver magazine all those years ago), Debbie Edwards, Jason White, David Blansfield, Buck Butler, David Taylor, Andrew Wiens, Nancy Miller, Jessica Benton, Joy Waltz, Kevin Whitworth, Deborah Kirk, Stacey Kronquest, Rhonda Messex, Gail Schmidt, Jan Siplon, Cheryl Haughney, Laura Cook-Smith Walker, Ashley Bringman, Ann Marie Macdougall, Jean-Paul Laflam, and John Hardy ... I've truly enjoyed our time together and wish you well in your next projects.


tgainsley said...

Well said Steve, wishing you happy holidays and all the best for 2009. Looking forward to seeing you in the near future. - Travis Gainsley

jean-paul laflam said...

Thanks for your kind words Steve. That makes me so sad about the magazine being sold. Truly my most favorite job, with the greatest group of people anyone could ever hope to work with. Looking back Susan Smith was the most incredible, strongest, organized and driven person I have ever had the opportunity to work for. If all my bosses since then have been as intelligent as she was, I'd be in seventh heaven. There is just something special about the south and Savannah...and something very special about your pictures.
--Jean-Paul LaFlam

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