Musclemag, Oxygen Magazines Purchased by California Publisher

/ Posted 09.03.2013

From the Financial Post by Armina Ligaya

oxygen-magazineOxygenOxygen magazine’s July 2013 cover. The sale comes 16 months after the death of the publishing house’s visionary and namesake Robert “Bob” Kennedy, who started MuscleMag at a Brampton, Ont. kitchen table in 1974.

The Ontario-based owner of the popular health and fitness titles MuscleMag and Oxygen has sold them to a California-based publisher, relinquishing two marquee magazines from the now beleaguered publishing empire just three months after it filed for bankruptcy.

Canusa Products Inc., the parent of Robert Kennedy Publishing Inc., sold off its magazine business to Cruz Bay Publishing Inc. according to Deloitte and Touche, who was appointed as trustee of the bankrupt estate.

“Cruz Bay Publishing Inc. will effectively re-start the publishing and distribution business, involving Oxygen, MuscleMag International, Clean Eating, Reps, American Curves, and the former magazine Maximum Fitness,” Deloitte told the Financial Post.

An agreement for the sale transaction, for which the financial details were not disclosed, was entered into on Aug. 16 and approved by the Ontario Superior Court on Aug. 23, according to documents.

The sale comes 16 months after the death of the publishing house’s visionary and namesake Robert “Bob” Kennedy, who started MuscleMag at a Brampton, Ont. kitchen table in 1974 and later counted bodybuilding legend and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger among his friends.

Full article is here.

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Shout Out to Larry Powers

/ Posted 08.05.2013

LTB-im2402-1Was chatting with promoter Steve Karel about the 2013 NPC Nationals, set for November 22-23 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, when Steve asked a favor. “This is on the humanitarium side of things,” Karel said. “People who followed the sport in the 1950s, 60s and 70s would remember Larry Powers, a former Mr. America–his real name was Larry Cianchetta. Larry was one of Joe Weider’s favorite bodybuilders, and was featured on a lot of magazine covers (including the February, 1965 issue of Iron Man).

“I used to train with him in New York in the 80s. Larry now lives in Florida, and a very close, mutual friend that saw him many times recently passed along the information that Larry is having some major health issues and would love to hear from former contemporaries–or anybody in the industry who wishes to say hello.” A 1999 feature on Powers that ran in Life Extension Magazine said Larry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1990, at the age of 50.

So, surprise Larry with a phone call, card, or any type of correspondence that will surely brighten his day. I did not know Powers, but in looking at his competition resume, he surely was among the best in the game during his era. You can phone Powers at 954 785-7793, or write to him at 3305 SE 5th Street, Pompano, Florida, 33062.

Filed Under: Nationals, News
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Musclemag Closes Doors and Declares Bankruptcy

/ Posted 06.08.2013

FROM RXMUSCLE.COM
Written by Aaron Singerman

 

musclemag.comEarlier today Robert Kennedy Publishing, which is responsible for Musclemag, Oxygen, and Reps magazines, shut its doors and sent its employees home. Musclemag was established by in 1974, but as of today, the magazine, along with the other titles are done. You won’t be receiving any more copies in the mail, and you won’t be able to buy the magazine in the grocery store. And Robert Kennedy Publishing is in the process of declaring bankruptcy.

As soon as I heard the news happened I contact Bill Geiger, the now former Editor-In-Chief of Musclemag. He said, “I’m sorry for all the talented editors, writers and photographers who have lost their jobs. We had a really great team but publishing as we know it is changing. Sadly the company was saddled with some costs it couldn’t shed and ultimately that dragged us down. Hopefully the magazine titles will continue under a new owner after bankruptcy. But for most of us we need to find jobs.”

I remember when I was a kid, I used to ride my bike to Barnes & Noble to read the newest magazine. I’d be so excited to read the Venice Beach Scene or Johnny Fitness’ newest column, and I was just reminiscing about how proud and excited I was to write last year’s Olympia coverage. Seeing my words in that legendary magazine always gave me a thrill. This is a sad day for our sport, and the industry. One of the truly great institutions in bodybuilding has fallen.

Original story is here.

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Bodybuilding.com Partners with Global Proving Ground’s New Reality Show Warrior Island

/ Posted 05.22.2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ltblog-globalwarrior

Los Angeles – May 20, 2013Global Proving Ground (GPG), a fast rising worldwide combat sports organization, and Bodybuilding.com, the largest online retailer of health and fitness supplements, are partnering up to bring you a new reality-based sports show, Warrior Island. “We cast the show by having millions of fans vote on Youtube, Facebook & Twitter with our unique social networking platform” states show’s creator James Jefferson. Warrior Island maroons these elite fighters on an island in the Pacific Ocean, where they must train old school martial arts with the Martial Arts Masters from around the world. Masters Renzo Gracie, Dan Severn, Chung Chow, Relson Gracie and Ron Van Clief will instill knowledge and skill within these fighters. The Director and Producers describe the show as Enter the Dragon meets Blood Sport in this highly anticipated Hollywood production from veteran Director Ben Perry and Executive Producer Steve Tornabene. With expert fitness and nutrition training by Bodybuilding.com‘s Phd Jim Stoppani and action movie star Silvio Simac Warrior Island fighters will have every advantage to improve their abilities before the fights begin. The fighters must then fight in an open soft pit to stay on the island and continue to strive to become champion of Warrior Island!

Bodybuilding.com is just the strategic partner we needed to launch our TV show and we are also excited about them being part of our worldwide fight league, Global Proving Ground,” said Warrior Island creator, James Jefferson. “Bodybuilding.com  is the online industry leader in health and fitness supplements. Their goals align perfectly with GPG and will help us take Warrior Island to the next level.”

“We are truly excited about partnering with GPG and Warrior Island,” said Ryan DeLuca, CEO and founder of Bodybuilding.com. “Mixed martial arts is exploding in popularity and involves some of the most physically fit athletes in the world. Keeping a competitive edge is key for these athletes,” said DeLuca, “by using proper training, nutrition and supplementation. So many of our customers love MMA, our partnership with GPG is a natural fit.”
For more information on Global Proving Ground and to see the contestants of Warrior Island, please visit http://www.globalprovingground.com

About Global Proving Ground (GPG)

Global Proving Ground (GPG) is the ideal platform for fighters of all martial arts disciplines to showcase their skills on a global level. It is THE place for promoters, sponsors, television producers, match makers and fight managers to discover new elite fight talent. GPG offers skilled combat sports athletes of all disciplines useful tools to help showcase their skills and advance their careers. It is also a place for fans to show support for their favorite amateur and professional fighters. More info at GlobalProvingGround.com

About Bodybuilding.com

Bodybuilding.com is the world’s largest online sports nutrition store, based in Meridian, Idaho. Offering more than 9,900 health & fitness supplements and accessories, shipping to more than 155 countries. Bodybuilding.com helps more than 26 million people every month achieve their health, fitness and appearance goals, by offering over 28,000 pages of FREE information, including more than 20,000 articles and 8,000 videos, expert online trainers, and new content added daily. For more information please visit www.bodybuilding.com.

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An Honor to Honor Joe Weider

/ Posted 04.05.2013

Charlotte Parker, publicist to the stars in the world of bodybuilding and fitness for many years, called me Thursday to ask if I would emcee the Memorial for Joe Weider, set for Sunday, April 14, in Santa Monica, CA. She didn’t have to finish the query before I gladly accepted this honor. I handled similiar duties for memorials for Joe Gold in 2004 and Robert Kennedy last June, but this comes with a different twist–the invitation-only gathering will be able to be viewed by fans all over the globe, thanks to Bodybuilding.com, as they will provide a live webcast, beginning at 1 p.m. (PST).

"Bodybuilding fans from around the world will be able to share in this amazing memorial," says John Hardesty, Vice-President for Digital Publishing at Bodybuilding.com. "We are honored to have been chosen as the exclusive outlet for this historic broadcast and will present it exactly as it happens. Joe Weider’s contributions for fitness and bodybuilding cannot be overstated. Without Joe, none of us would be here."

Of course, the major address at the gathering will be given by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who referred to Joe as his "dear friend and mentor…a titan in the fitness industry and one of the kindest men I ever met." It was Joe, as most know, who initially brought Arnold to the United States from Austria. As Joe said at the time, "Every sport needs a hero, and Arnold was the right man."

And Joe was the right man to to help make that become a reality.

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So Long, Joe, It Was a Great Ride

/ Posted 03.28.2013

Stubborn. Stupid stubborn. And, because I was cursed with such behavior, I nearly blew my chance to meet—and work– for Joe Weider.

It was nearly 30 years ago—April 1983—to be exact. I had been a professional sportswriter right out of college and, after the newspaper closed its doors, I moved on as Sports Information Director at Cal State L.A for the next five years. I also taught in both the Journalism and PE Departments. When the SID job was eliminated, I stayed on another 12 years as a member of the Department of Physical Education faculty.

A buddy I’d met at the gym several years earlier would always push me to contact Joe. “You’d be perfect for his magazines,” the friend quipped. “You have the combination of being a professional journalist, and a professional in the field of physical education.”

Finally, I relented, and made the call. And, to my surprise, a lunch meeting with Joe was quickly set up by his secretary, for the following Friday. More than a bit nervous, I hit the road for my 45-minute drive to the Weider Headquarters in Woodland Hills. I arrived 30 minutes early (it’s called Type A personality, fans) to make sure I wasn’t a minute late. No matter—Joe didn’t show.

The secretary apologized, but I was too ticked—and immature—to pay heed. I sped home, calling my buddy immediately, and told him what transpired. Soon after the phone rang; it was Joe’s secretary. She apologized, and asked if we could reschedule for the following Friday. Stubborn, stupid stubborn set it. I said no!

Minutes later the phone rings again. It was Joe’s secretary calling back. “Mr. Teper, Joe would like to speak with you.” This time around “honored” replaced stupid stubborn, and here I was, talking to the Master Blaster himself! The godfather of fitness. The guy who played such a major role in popularizing weight training, the use of supplements and vitamins, and workout equipment. The creator of the Mr. Olympia, for gosh sakes! He was apologetic for the mix-up, and asked to meet for lunch next Friday.

Those were among the longest seven days of my life. I have to admit, a part of me wondered if Joe forgets about me again. Like he wasn’t a dude with a lot on his plate. No worries…he was there, right on time. He was well dressed, complete with dress slacks, white shirt and tie, and was very courteous as he reached for my hand and said, “Very glad to meet you, Lonnie.”

Joe drove me to his favorite eatery, noted for its fish, not too far from the office (don’t remember the name of the place). Stubborn no longer, I didn’t let on what I thought of the choices, and ordered halibut. It was good; if I order fish these days, halibut it is.

We got down to business; I went over my writing background, and told Joe I thought I’d be a good fit for his publications. Had a great idea for a story for Muscle & Fitness: how so many athletes in the 1950s and 1960s had to lift weights in secret so their coaches wouldn’t find out. You know, the old, erroneous muscle-bound theory. He agreed it would be a promising piece—BUT wanted me to turn in a sample of my work to see if my writing could strike a chord with his target audience.

Stubborn makes a comeback. “I don’t ‘audition’ at this point of my career, Joe,” I said. “You don’t have to worry, I know who your audience is…I’ve been part of it for years.”

To be honest, I don’t recall what was said next, but we finished an enjoyable lunch, talked about what I liked—and didn’t find so appealing—about his magazines. Needless to say, I was very careful not to spend much time on the latter.

I went ahead with my article, titled it “Can’t Weight to Train” (featuring Otis Chandler, former Publisher of the Los Angeles Times and a premier collegiate shot putter and weight lifter), and it ran a few months later. That started a string of stories I wrote for Muscle & Fitness, Flex and eventually Sports Fitness over the next three of years.

However, I wasn’t getting consistent assignments, so I took the opportunity to join the staff at IRON MAN when John Balik and Michael Neveux bought the publication in 1986. But I would see Joe at various events, particularly the Mr. Olympia that he created back in 1965.

I emceed my first Olympia in 1993 in Atlanta. In Chicago in 1996, Joe saw me at the hotel and said, “Lonnie, no time for jokes this weekend, since you are emceeing all four shows (Mr. Olympia, Ms. Olympia, Fitness Olympia and the Masters Olympia.” During intermission, Joe approached me and said, “Lonnie, where are your jokes?…we need to make this more entertaining.”

Yes, we lost quite quite a man when Joe Weider passed away from heart failure on Saturday, March 23, at 93 years of age. Joe had been in very poor health for some time, so his passing was not a surprise to those who knew him. But, that doesn’t change the fact that people are having trouble dealing with the death of a true icon that influenced so many lives in the world of fitness and nutrition.

And, of course, perhaps Weider’s greatest achievement was having the insight to invite a young bodybuilder from Austria named Arnold Schwarzenegger to move to the United States, where he financed the move and helped Schwarzenegger boost his career in bodybuilding, business and acting.

“Joe became a father figure to me,” said Schwarzenegger in an article by Greg Botehlo of CNN.” He advised me on my training, on my business ventures, and once, bizarrely, claimed I was a German Shakespearean actor to get me my first acting role in “Hercules in New York, even though I barely spoke English.”

Despite being diagnosed with a heart condition, amyloidosis, 12 years ago, Weider never slowed down, according to his publicist, Charlotte Parker. “He was generous, loving, full of life,” Parker says in the CNN article. “He was a great man.”

Gone, but never forgotten. Thanks for all you did, Joe Weider. It was a great ride. R.I.P.

Filed Under: News, People, Reflections
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Reports: Nasser El Sonbaty Dead at 47

/ Posted 03.22.2013

Reports of Nasser El Sonbaty’s death have been greatly exagerrated over the past few years. Unfortunately, the latest news hitting the internet on Thursday appears to be valid: El Sonbaty, 47, passed away, allegedly from malaria, leading to kidney failure, this week. I’m not sure where his death took place, but based on a couple of UTube videos I just perused, Nasser was living in Cairo, Egypt. In the video I saw, dated February 28, Nasser was training a client and looked healthy and in good spirits. He (and Kevin Levrone) was missing in action at the recent Arnold Classic, where I called out on stage all the previous winners of the event in honor of the 25th Anniversary; I was told he was in Egypt. El Sonbaty, who lived in San Diego for many years, also passed on the 20th Anniversary celebration in 2008.

“The Beast from the Middle East”, as I tagged him (although he may not have actually been from the area–it had a nice ring to it), was one of the premier professional bodybuilders in the world in the 1990s, when the quality of competitors was the best, depth wise, in the history of the sport. At 5’11″ and about 270 pounds, Nasser finished second in the 1997 Mr. Olympia in a very controversial loss to Dorian Yates, who was making his final appearance on stage. Nasser won the Arnold Classic in 1999; in total El Sonbaty competed over 50 times in the pro ranks and was featured on numerous covers of bodybuilding publications worldwide.

I knew him well; he had a great sense of humor and, not to be outdone by yours truly, would come up with his own “Zilla” nicknames for many of his opponents. He was also an extremely intelligent man, well versed in several languages.

You left us way too early, big fella. R.I.P.

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NPC/Gaspari November Athletes of the Month

/ Posted 02.15.2013

NATIONAL PHYSIQUE COMMITTEE AND GASPARI NUTRITION ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER ATHLETES OF THE MONTH

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA (February 15, 2013) – The National Physique Committee and Gaspari Nutrition have announced six competitors as the November Athletes of the Month – Brian Yersky, Juanita Blaino, Angela Skeels, Nicole Sims, Toni West and Vincent Fiore. All six of the winners won Overall titles at the NPC Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia last November.

Each month, NPC President Jim Manion selects the Athletes of the based on in-person analysis and on the information provided by contest promoters across the country and featured in the NPC News Online Contest Roundups.

For complete profiles and galleries of the November NPC Athletes of the month, go to www.npcnewsonline.com.

About the November Athletes of the Month:

- Men’s Bodybuilding: Brian Yersky, 30, has been competing on the national-level stage since 2006, placing in the top five seven times. The 2007 Collegiate National Super Heavyweight winner, Yersky competed in six pro qualifiers before earning his IFBB Pro card at the Nationals.

- Women’s Bodybuilding: Juanita Blaino, 43, took a 16-year break from competition before returning in 2009. A patrolwoman with the County Sheriff’s Department, Blaino finished second in the Heavyweights at the 2010 Nationals before winning the class and Overall last November

- Figure: A mother of three, Nicole Sims won her class and the Overall at the Nationals. The win was a dramatic from Sims’ first attempt at earning a pro card, when she failed to place at the 2011 USAs.

- Bikini: Angela Skeels didn’t place at the USA Championships last summer, but that didn’t little to discourage her. Skeels rebounded in a big way four months later by winning her class and the Overall at Nationals.

- Men’s Physique: A former college lacrosse player at Oneonta State in New York, 24-year-old Vincent Fiore proved to be a quick study in the Men’s Physique Division. Fiore earned his IFBB Pro card by in just his fourth competition.

- Women’s Physique: Toni West tried her hand in both the bodybuilding and figure divisions before moving over to Women’s Physique this year. West, 33, competed in just one previous physique contest before winning her class and the Overall at Nationals.

Filed Under: News
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LT Settles in on Muscle Beach TV Couch

/ Posted 01.28.2013

Filed Under: News, Venice Beach, Video
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INDUSTRY SUPERSTARS MAKE SPORTS-NUTRITION HISTORY & CHARITY AT 619 MUSCLE LONG BEACH’S ANNUAL HOLIDAY & CHARITY BASH

/ Posted 12.03.2012

Season’s Greetings from 619 MUSCLE! This year’s annual 619 MUSCLE Long Beach Holiday Bash will be even bigger and better than the last! Hundreds of sports-nutrition fanatics will gather at 619 MUSCLE Long Beach, 3200 East 59th St., to participate in a long list of exciting events, guest appearances, contests, demos, and raffles with tremendous prizes!

  • Gaspari Nutrition’s $500 Pump Your Guns Contest!
  • $300,000 worth of cars on display! “It will be a surprise!” Last year we had the General Lee!
  • Female Strength Extravaganza with American- and potential World- record holders!
  • Extreme Calisthenics Demonstrations!
  • Big Back Grips Pull-Down Contest!

Our list of industry superstars includes lots of celebrity guests and surprise guest posers! David Bourlet will be covering the event for Muscular Development and Lonnie, “the Swami” Teper will be covering for Ironman Magazine. Steve “The Kingsnake” Kuclo will be our guest poser and Flex Lewis is the 2012-212 Olympia Champion and will be making a special appearance at the Gaspari booth. More updates to come as industry superstars and superheroes continue to RSVP!

Once again we’re giving the gift of hope and much needed money and support to the 1736 Family Crisis Center. All 619 MUSCLE Holiday Bash proceeds from raffle ticket sales will go directly to the center, women, children, and families who rely on the Center for help. Last year the representative from the Center was completely shocked and very appreciative of the tremendous support our sports-nutrition community gave to them!

Share our 619 MUSCLE Holiday Bash Event Link to spread the word!
Or LIKE our facebook page and VISIT our page for more info!

To our vendors: the 619 MUSCLE family extends a warm appreciation and extended invitation you, the inspirational giants who continue to ignite success in our industry. It is truly a blessing to be involved in this industry with all of you!
Table-Booth space is FREE for vendors who agree to donate a portion of  sales to the 1736 Family Crisis Center, make a product donation for raffles, or donate an unopened toy for the Toys-4-Tots drive!

Those registered: Thank you in advance for your participation and support! Please, even if you have already signed up please email Khay or Martin Rosemond as soon as possible to reserve your booth space. In your e-mail please let us know:
•      How many chairs you will need at your table
•       Are you bringing any of your sponsored athletes?
•      If you will donate product so that we can assign it to a specific event.

In appreciation for all your support and friendship! Can’t wait to see you at the Holiday Bash!

For more information about 619 MUSCLE or  our Long-Beach Annual Holiday Bash, please contact us!

Martin and Khay Rosemond
619 MUSCLE, Long Beach
3200 East 59th St
Long Beach, Ca 90805
562-366-0411 Store
310-489-9487 cell
martin@619musclelb.com

To learn more about the 1736 Family Crisis Center, visit
www.1736familycrisiscenter.org

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