Day's that something exciting arrives in the mail are pretty few and far between around here, but there's one thing I always look forward to- the day my Oxygen magazine arrives! I'm sure it sounds rather lame, but after four weeks I find myself craving the next issue. Unlike any other women's fitness magazine I've come across, it's well worth it's weight in paper; its pages are consistently packed with challenging workouts, useful information, and decent recipes.
This month things went a little differently though, lot's of trips to the mailbox to come back empty handed. Eventually, August arrived but my much anticipated August issue didn't. Definitely odd...
Rewind to the June 2013 issue of Oxygen magazine where Tosca Reno concluded her monthly motivation article with the words, "Be on the lookout: Change is coming." Since it was also the first issue picturing Oxygen's new editor, Rachel Crocker, I supposed she was right. And whilst I found it strange that the previous editor-in-chief had disappeared without a mention I didn't think much of it- all part of the change I assumed.
It turned out that change really was coming, though future issues wouldn't be. As the June issue of Oxygen hit the shelves the burdens of a decade hit the fan, leaving the team who compiled it to face a new reality. I found out when I happened to write 'oxygen magazine' into a search engine...employees found out when they arrived at work only to be turned away by two men in suits. The truth? Robert Kennedy Publishing had closed its doors for good, filing for bankruptcy on June 7, 2013.
Perhaps Tosca's charge to 'be on the lookout' for change was a warning, though, warned or not, I certainly didn't see it coming. The thought that such a powerhouse, home of a myriad of ever popular fitness publications and best selling books, was about to financially implode never occurred to me. Nor did the drama going on behind the scenes. The shock of the bankruptcy is starting to pale in comparison to the animosity its provoked. If comments on Tosca's blog are anything to go by, life at RKP was anything but a bed of roses and well wishes have been overshadowed by the angry comments of former staff members. I'm not pointing any fingers, I certainly don't know what was going on behind the scenes of those glossy pages, but it doesn't seem to be the happy sisterhood I envisioned. I guess my rose colored glassed might need to come off.
If there is an up-side here, and I'm really hoping there is, Tosca Reno did give a hint of hope to an army of confused subscribers. In a very official statement on her blog she mentioned her intention to "restructure the business as a whole in order to allow (the) brands Oxygen, Clean Eating, and The Eat-Clean Diet to possibly find a new home." Not very promising for the company's other brands, but I'm certainly keeping my fingers crossed that this isn't the end of the story. Here's hoping that Oxygen can indeed "thrive again" and get back to doing what it did best, inspiring and motivating women all over the world.
I guess my mailbox will be pretty sad and lonely in the mean time. And may I say for the record...boo!
Wishing the best of luck to the employees who made RKP what it was for so many years, and especially to those who put together Oxygen, inspiring myself and so many others month after month.
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