Relix, originally created as a Deadhead fanzine, is getting a second chance at life: The 35-year-old music magazine, which owner Zenbu Media has had on hiatus for the past three months, will play on under new ownership starting with its June 2009 issue.
Folio: reports that a group of investors led by music industry figure Peter Shapiro and a core group of the magazine’s employees have acquired Relix, as well as Web properties Relix.com and JamBands.com.
Shapiro will take on the publisher role of the aptly-named Relix Media Group and Relix SVP Rachel Seiden becomes associate publisher, while Josh Baron remains editor-in-chief. The rest of the executive team will be comprised of current Relix staffers, all of whom will be taking a 15 percent pay cut to make the relaunch happen.
“If we didn’t see a real business value, we would’ve walked away,” Baron told Folio:. “This isn’t a case of putting a Band-Aid on a magazine.”
The release, after the jump…
RELIX MEDIA GROUP ACQUIRES RELIX MAGAZINE,
RELIX.COM AND JAMBANDS.COM
HISTORIC MUSIC MAGAZINE TO RELAUNCH WITH JUNE ISSUE;
REDESIGNED WEBSITES TO GO ONLINE WITHIN COMING MONTHS
May 4, 2009 — New York, NY — Relix Media Group, LLC announced today that it has acquired Relix magazine, Relix.com, and Jambands.com from previous owner Zenbu Media. Relix Media Group is a newly formed team of private investors led by music and film entrepreneur Peter Shapiro and former Zenbu Media employees. Shapiro will become Publisher of the iconic music title and longtime Editor-in-Chief Josh Baron will remain in place and be appointed to the management team.
In addition to Shapiro and Baron, Relix Media Group’s executive management team will include Associate Publisher, Senior Vice President, Rachel Seiden; Executive Editor, Senior Vice President of Digital, Dean Budnick; Executive Editor, Vice President of Relix Media Group, Mike Greenhaus; Chief Financial Officer, Dale Hirschman; and Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Cole Boyle. All members of Relix Media Group’s new team are veterans of the magazine.
“We look at the change of ownership as chapter three in the Relix story,” says Baron.” “Ironically, at a difficult time in the magazine industry, Relix is stronger than it has ever been on both the editorial and business sides. We’re confident that the new team in place, along with Peter’s diverse background as a club owner of The Wetlands and now Brooklyn Bowl, plus his involvement in films like U23D, will help strategically grow the company.”
“Live music isn’t going anywhere,” adds Shapiro. “Relix’s core is live music and we will document and embrace that every step of the way. We will use the respected Relix brand as an anchor, and expand from there. With this new, yet familiar, team in-place we feel strongly that we have a strong and vibrant magazine on all levels and we’re all very excited about the opportunity to build on Relix’s venerable 35-year history.
“Personally, I am thrilled to continue the forward-thinking leadership that Steve Bernstein brought to the magazine since he became publisher in 2000. We will also, of course, respect the iconic legacy and tradition created by Relix’s founders Les Kippel and Toni Brown over three decades ago. They have all dedicated themselves to Relix and made it what it is today and I plan on bringing that same passion as publisher.”
Founded in 1974 as a hand-stapled newsletter for Grateful Dead fans and tape traders, Relix magazine has evolved over the last 35-years into the leading source for fans of live music. These days the brand, which also includes, Relix.com and Jambands.com, offers readers rare insight and exclusive coverage on some of the world’s leading artists. Recent features include profiles on The Allman Brothers Band, The Clash, Neil Young, Black Crowes, Mars Volta, Beastie Boys, Miles Davis, Conor Oberst and Ryan Adams and many others. As noted industry critic Bob Lefsetz noted earlier this year, Relix is “more Rolling Stone than Rolling Stone.”
Relix will relaunch under the direction of new ownership with the June issue, while the newly branded web properties will go online within the coming months. The magazine, which will hit newsstands on May 19, will profile Phish in their first cover story since announcing reunion plans last year.