Effective immediately, PADI now has full ownership of Scuba Diving magazine, scubadiving.com, Sport Diver magazine, sportdiver.com and Skin Diver magazine, all of which will be used to expand the association’s editorial platform into a multimedia source for dive training, travel, apparel and community engagement.
As part of the acquisition, members of PADI Club, the organization’s membership program, will start receiving a subscription to the 9x per year Scuba Diving magazine, as well as access to the new multimedia platform and the ScubaLab Gear Guide and World’s Best special issues.
“Our investment in this premier dive media group is a natural progression in PADI’s mission to educate and inspire our dive community,” said PADI Worldwide president and CEO Drew Richardson in a statement. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen a consolidation of dive media, particularly in the United States. Our relationship with Bonnier Corporation dates back to 1999 and, in that time, we’ve developed a unique bond built on trust, integrity and the empowerment of divers to be ambassadors for our blue planet.”
Over the next six-month transition period, the publications’ print and digital operations will continue to be produced by the existing staffs in of Bonnier’s Winter Park, Fla. headquarters. And while a spokesperson from Bonnier tells Folio: that there are no plans for immediate layoffs, specific personnel decisions will be assessed by PADI during that time.
Former CEO of Bonnier, Dave Freygang, who retired from his role in 2015 and moved into a consulting position with the company, will be tasked with leading the staff and operations for the group in the meantime.
“For over two decades, it’s been our privilege to serve dive enthusiasts worldwide,” said current Bonnier CEO Eric Zinczenko in a statement. “We are thrilled to pass the legacy of these brands onto PADI and we couldn’t be more pleased their future is now with an organization dedicated to this enthusiast community. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to our Bonnier employees who worked tirelessly on these brands over the years.”
This is the second acquisition of a special interest publication or group by an association this week, the first being The American Astronomical Society placing the winning bid of $1,225,000 for F+W Media’s Sky & Telescope magazine in a bankruptcy auction.