In the mail yesterday, we received the most recent issue of Car and Driver, easily in the bottom three of magazines in history that we’d ever want to read. We live in New York and besides, we only have enough money for a train ride every other day now. We were puzzled, until we peeked through the plastic baggy to this letter, included behind the magazine:
“I know we can’t replace the insight and passion that SPIN delivered to new-music lovers. But I can promise that Car and Driver will provide the same insight and passion for cars.” Right. Wait – so why am I getting Car and Driver now? Huh?
Updated: Earlier this year, Car and Driver's parent company Hearst Media invested in BuzzFeed, contributing to a $15.5 million funding round last January, which is fine and dandy for them (an earlier investment in Pandora worked out nicely, too). But, since there’s no connection to be found between BuzzMedia and BuzzFeed, we still don’t quite understand why our subscription to SPIN was replaced with a car mag.
In mid-February, SPIN announced its move to a bi-monthly, larger format publication, replete with a slew of new editors and writers. We were excited! So we subscribed (using a criminally cheap promotion that let us pay $6 for a year’s subscription).
Five months later, BuzzMedia bought SPIN (along with a few other music properties), and shortly thereafter announced a round of layoffs. Oh, and that they wouldn’t be producing a physical book anymore, after only three issues of SPIN's promising revivification.
Since then, SPIN has been rolling along fine, putting out fantastic features and generally being the know-it-all that isn’t (totally) insufferable. But receiving that letter yesterday certainly bummed us out, and made us look back to a year ago, when things seemed a good bit less… Buzz-y.
Note: We were going to end this piece with a list of the Hearst-owned magazines we’d rather have a subscription to than Car and Driver, but we couldn’t find any. So… thanks?