Outdoor Photographer magazine just fired all their staff and are selling up

May 20, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Outdoor Photographer magazine just fired all their staff and are selling up

May 20, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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Outdoor Photographer magazine just fired all their staff and are selling up

The new owners of Outdoor Photographer Magazine have just laid off all its staff. The magazine and website are now up for sale after only acquiring the magazine in February 2023.

After months of mismanagement and not paying contributors, the owners have decided to pull the plug. The June/July issue will be the final issue, according to Editor-in-Chief Dan Havlik’s Facebook post.

“The June/July double issue is my swan song as Editor-in-Chief,” says Havlik in his post, “I’m quite proud of it but not proud of how poorly the company has been managed and all the contributors who have not been paid.”

Outdoor Photographer magazine just fired all their staff and are selling up
Screen shot from Editor-in-Chief Dan Havlik’s Facebook post

The details of the poor management and avoidance of paying contributors were well-documented earlier this week by Petapixel. According to that, several contributing photographers and writers have not been paid for their work at the magazine since the fall of 2022, for amounts in their thousands.

Unpaid staff

The magazine was purchased by the BeBop Channel Corporation earlier this year as part of an acquisition of Madavor Media. However, the takeover also included taking on a large amount of debt incurred by the magazine.

Even more bizarre is the fact that the CEO of BeBop Corporation, Charles Royal, is allegedly blaming the contributors for the problem. He told Petapixel that the contributors should not have kept working for the publication if they were not being paid for their work.

However, many of the writers and photographers had worked for the magazine for years, some for decades and had built up an ongoing level of trust with the editors. The magazine itself was held in high esteem, and to contribute content for it was always deemed as an honour. Clearly, Mr Royal does not understand integrity and loyalty.

Who will buy?

The decision to close Outdoor Photographer is not isolated. The same corporation has also shut down other popular photography sites and publications, such as Imaging Resource. There is now a whole bundle of publications and sites for sale for a bargain of $500,000 if anyone is interested. These include Digital Photo Pro, Imaging Resource, Digital Photo, Image Creators Network, and of course, Outdoor Photographer.

Outdoor Photographer magazine just fired all their staff and are selling up
The advertisement selling all the Photography Publications. Who wants to buy?

With the have-they-or-haven’t-they shutdown of DP Review earlier this year, it’s understandable that the Photography community feels a little lost at sea. While other online news publications such as Vice and BuzzFeed have also just been fed to the wolves, this could be a case of larger umbrella companies trimming the fat from unprofitable and more niche publications.

As more traditional journalism faces threats from AI, this could be an interesting couple of years ahead for the publishing industry in general. But don’t worry, DIYP is still here for our photography and filmmaking communities!

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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10 responses to “Outdoor Photographer magazine just fired all their staff and are selling up”

  1. Mario Dennis Avatar
    Mario Dennis

    Sorry to see it go but print magazines in particular are competing with (free) YouTube and hobbyist websites.

    1. Antoine Hart Avatar
      Antoine Hart

      Mario Dennis I don’t think it’s neccessary that. It’d just everything is digital now. Digital magazines..digital books…

    2. Ed Sassler Avatar
      Ed Sassler

      Mario Dennis there’s a fundamental difference that people overlook. Getting a job writing for a magazine requires some work in the field – or at least we hope it did. Making a YouTube video requires almost no understanding of the subject. This is what I call propagation of the Dunning Kruger effect, people who are in the lowest percentiles but assuming they are in the highest influencing others (on a rather large scale)

      I ran an experiment on this. I took some piece of equipment which I am competent in using (a Godox AD200 and it’s various modifiers and adapters) and did a YouTube search. What truly scared me about the outcome was that Dunning and Kruger’s conclusions had two parts. The second part was that those in the highest percentiles would self assess as being far lower – the people who are really good at it aren’t making YouTube videos.

      Philosophers over the ages have said that idiots have confidence, intelligent people have doubts. YouTube has no filter, I question it’s ability as a teaching method.

    3. Andrew Gynoceras Avatar
      Andrew Gynoceras

      Ed SasslerVery accurate assessment, imho. Also idiots will believe the confidence of other idiots

    4. Dan Pieniak Avatar
      Dan Pieniak

      Yes, but the Brit’s have a number of print photo magazines that they publish. I get the British Amateur Photographer magazine every month at Barnes and Noble. I hear that they have a weekly issue that comes out.

  2. Libby Sutherland Avatar
    Libby Sutherland

    Very sad. I subscribed to Digital Photo Pro when the premiere issue came out. Fine publication geared towards the pro level I formation I really needed at the time. Photo Pro plus Photo District News was all I needed. Now with the demise of entities like Imaging Resource, DPR etc, pretty soon all we’ll be left with is a garbage heap like petapixel. Youtube fast becoming a cesspool of click baiters. Can’t waste my time with their crap.

  3. mary Avatar
    mary

    I’ve seen this movie before.

  4. FrogLuvR Avatar
    FrogLuvR

    Oh great, and I have my subscription that goes to January 2024 – NOT anymore. It is amazing to see in the Barnes in Noble bookstores so many British photo magazines. I particularly enjoy Amateur Photographer – http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk

  5. dfpa Avatar
    dfpa

    I just realized I hadn’t received an issue of Outdoor Photographer in several months. I have had problems with this publication in the past on missing issues. Discovered their website was inactive so I did a search and came across this article that the magazine ceased operations. My subscription had been extended to July 2024 due to the aforementioned missing issue problem. Alas, “missing issues” has now become permanent! Absolute rip off, but also sad to lose what at times was a useful magazine.

  6. joe nowak Avatar
    joe nowak

    I never got the double issue , my last issue was May.. I sure would like to get the double issue..
    my subscription was to be good till Dec/24..
    thank you