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Bill Jones Skin Diver Magazine is Out of Air!
 © Copyright 2003    Bill Jones    World Rights Reserved

 Skin Diving
Launched in December 1951, the November 2002 issue of Skin Diver Magazine was the final edition of the first nationwide SCUBA diving publication.  After 51 years of trying to find itself in a continuously changing market, the magazine seemed to be diving too deep in red ink to survive.   Blaming sharp declines in both subscription and ad revenue, there was no decompression chamber that could revive this horrible case of the bends.   Even the publicationís name never really embraced its most productive market segment. The Skin Diver

Originally published as "The Skin Diver", the magazine was the creation of California spearfishing enthusiasts Jim Auxier and Chuck Blakeslee.  Promoted as "a magazine for spearfishermen", the first 16-page black and white issue featured spear-fishing champ Doc Nelson Mathison showing off his "monster" sea bass.

Bond, James Bond With the rapid improvements in equipment and training in the 1980ís, SCUBA diving was becoming a very popular mainstream recreational activity.  During this same period, Skin Diver Magazine was reinventing itself to cater to this new trendy audience steadily boosting subscription and ad revenue.   Manufacturers, stores, clubs, and other scuba publications were simultaneously benefiting from the growing demand.  By the late 1990ís, a dozen new diving specialty publications had hit the newsstands.  Supply began catching up with demand.

Two years ago, Sport Diver magazine was suffering from the same lack of revenue sources.  PADI purchased, revamped, and provided CPR to this publication with its wealth of members as new subscribers along with a large portfolio of eager advertisers.  At the same time, PADIís snobby and much more expensive to produce Aqua magazine was quietly allowed to drown with no hope of rescue.

Editor Note:  Bill Jones, The Scuba Guy, is a PADI Master Instructor and a Published and Award-Winning Writer

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