Statement to the golf industry
By Trevor Ledger (Ex-Editor of Golf Course News International)
I feel compelled to write something about GCNi, it might be sour grapes, if so, I apologise.
I had major concerns about what would happen to GCNi (Golf Course News International) once Seoul Nassau bought it as part of a package with Amenity Technology last year. It became apparent very early on that I was not going to last too long in my post as editor - the new owners wanted to move in directions that I was not comfortable with and believed would be detrimental to both the publication and the industry.
Having seen the first issue of the 'New look GCNi' I am filled with a mix of sadness and relief. Sad that a publication that I had been with for more than ten years could be destroyed in a moment of adolescent ignorance, relieved that I was booted out before I had my own name tarnished with this pathetic example of publishing.
I cherished GCNi and believed it to be the best international golf trade publication on the market; I now believe it to be nothing more than a Seoul Nassau marketing rag sprinkled with low-grade juvenile humour with no news content whatever.
If Craig Treharne (MD of Seoul Nassau) and his Seoul Nassau team really believe that this magazine reflects the core readership - Greenkeepers and range employees - then I would suggest that they actually go and visit these guys. This is 2006 where tending a golf course takes a highly educated professional, not some 'On the Buses' type operation with soft porn aplenty and slapstick efforts to outflank the boss.
I wish to make it absolutely clear that I no longer have anything to do with this magazine and will be advising my PR clients that to contribute editorial or advertising copy to GCNi would be very unwise.
It is interesting to note that:-
21.5 pages of advertisements were from Seoul Nassau or their suppliers (Signs and Designs is an offshoot from the Seoul Nassau stable so I've counted their ads too).
Nine 'stories' featured Seoul Nassau either directly or indirectly.
There was not one piece of real golf industry news that focused on what is actually happening in the industry outside of the egotistical Treharne world.
Having told a relatively interesting story about one man's fight against racism, Geoff Baker (GCNi Compiler/Editor) then chose to print a headline on the very next page referring to Chinese people as 'Chinks'. Splendid - regardless of it being a direct lift from the Times.
Horoscopes, enough said.
The fact that the post of editor has been made redundant becomes apparent when you notice that 'Compiler' Baker has printed his email address incorrectly in his Editorial (Compilorial?) and that the address for GCNI in Berkshire is presented in several different ways throughout the magazine.
It is a crying shame that a highly respected and award winning publication has been reduced to such a state. I am only glad that, in my opinion, advertisers will all pull their support and we won't have to see such a rag again.