Do you feel like it’s nothing but bad news lately? Well, journalists feel that way, too — even about journalism.
The last 12 months have seen widespread layoffs throughout the industry. That includes the gutting of legacy publications like National Geographic Magazine and Sports Illustrated. But this week finally brought a bit of good news, thanks to unexpected support from — of all places — the Nashville music scene.
Country music artists Eric Church and Morgan Wallen, along with a group of brand builders, announced the acquisition and relaunch of Field & Stream, the outdoor lifestyle brand with a 150-year history. The musical duo purchased the retail side from Dick’s Sporting Goods and the media platform from Recurrent.
That brings the brand under the same ownership for the first time in its history, according to a Thursday press release. Now, the long-beloved print magazine will relaunch after ceasing print publication in 2021. Both Church and Wallen said they care deeply about the brand.
“I can remember my grandfather kept a few of his favorite Field & Stream magazines on the dash of his truck,” Church said. “That truck took us on hundreds of outdoor adventures and I all but memorized every story and every picture on every page. They were my Bible. It is the honor of my life to make sure that legacy carries on. It is both this responsibility to an American Icon and also to a young boy in his papaw’s truck that will be the compass that guides our steps.”
Paid Memberships to Drive Relaunch
The resurrection of the print magazine through a membership community called the Field & Stream 1871 Club. Other plans include a spiffy new digital platform, a limited-edition apparel collection inspired by Church and Wallen, and an outdoor music festival for this fall.
Church and Wallen said they’re invested in the brand as avid outdoorsmen, conservationists, and storytellers. The new ownership will take a hands-on approach to preserving the authenticity of Field & Stream and ensuring that it stays true to its roots, the press release said.
“There’s nothin’ I love more than being with friends around a campfire, on a boat or in a deer stand — and Field & Stream represents all of those to me,” said Wallen. “Being part of its future is incredible and we want to keep bringing people together outdoors, makin’ memories, for generations to come.”
The 1871 Club (a name that pays homage to the brand’s founding 153 years ago) will offer several benefits for members who join. That includes exclusive access to a large-format print magazine, published twice annually and filled with outdoor storytelling and photography. Other perks include priority ticket access to the Field & Stream Music Festival, members-only gear, VIP entry into “outdoor experiences,” exclusive discounts, and digital content.
The revived Field & Stream brand will be led by Doug McNamee, former president of Magnolia. Colin Kearns, who has served as editor-in-chief for Field & Stream since 2016, will remain in his position alongside his editorial team.
“We are committed to reinforcing Field and Stream’s legendary status as the authoritative voice of the American outdoors,” said McNamee.
For more information about the revived brand, visit the Field & Stream website.