News from The Morgan Connection

The following is a letter from Elizabeth Hobby.  After 20 years she has chosen to retire as the Publisher/Owner of TMC.  At this point in time the commemorative OKC issue was the last, however it sounds like there are multiple parties interested in stepping up and continuing publication of the mag.

Dear Morgan Connection Friends
By now you may have heard of my decision to retire as Publisher/Owner
of The Morgan Connection – the magazine I started 20 years ago.

This decision has not been easy. In a few years I will reach 60 and I
feel it is time to exhale, to spend more time with family and friends
in Europe and the US and to enjoy a period of time absent of constant
deadlines and 24/7 scheduling. In addition Scott, my husband, has
started a new business and I want to be there to help with its
marketing and development.

Since my decision, there has been interest from several potential
buyers seeking to purchase the magazine in its entireity and continue
on with it. Currently Scott and I are out of the country but I will
certainly be exploring that option when I return in late January. It
would be exciting to think that TMC could well be around for years to
come! Naturally I will keep you all informed.

Needless to say your support and loyalty has meant the world to me
over the many wonderful years I have enjoyed my little magazine. I
will never forget and of course I will stay in touch and perhaps be
able to provide assistance to a new owner as he/she takes it to the
its next horizon.

Elizabeth Hobby

15 Responses to News from The Morgan Connection

  1. Carley says:

    I’m devastated

  2. underdog88 says:

    I have to say, I am devastated too. I hope someone buys it and continues printing it. I can’t tell you how upset I would be if this wonderful publication disappeared. There is actually a group on Facebook called “The Morgan Connection is my Bible!!”

  3. Carley says:

    what happens to left over subscriptions? someone i know mentioned everyone going to saddle horse report… i just dont think it would be the same. thoughts?

  4. my handsome Morgan says:

    Forgive my difference of opinion, but I don’t think losing the connection will be a loss at all. It was basically run into the ground before the publisher decided to retire. The show coverage was lackluster at best, and the articles only created turmoil. There was nothing there of any value to the morgan breeder or exhibitor, IMO. Between the morgan horse magazine (my preference-the breed journal, the only one anyone collects, great show coverage) and the saddle horse report I think we’ll have plenty to read, and plenty of space to advertise.

  5. StacyGRS says:

    There’s nothing to forgive…we all get to have an opinion. Personally, it wouldn’t have been my choice to see leave, although I don’t think we could really support 3 magazines well. The report has a few things going for it…first and foremost, it’s timely. Your wins, purchases, etc got out there within a week or two of them happening…that just doesn’t happen with the other magazines. The reason it’s timely is a double edged sword…it gets printed faster because of the “newspaper” format that some don’t like. It does make it harder to save and isn’t quite the same as a magazine. It has, IMO, the best rep. which is HUGE. She catches mistakes, takes little to no hand-holding to get ads done, pertinent info included and accurate, which is SO big for me.
    The very reason you love and collect (BTW…your statement that it’s the ‘only one anyone collects’ lacks some research. My bookshelves would tell you this isn’t true) TMH…that it’s the Breed Journal…is the reason it has to play jack of all trades and master of none. It has to continually balance show coverage with things outside of the show world, has to be sure not to have TOO many pages of show stuff (they are counted often…I assure you!), and it has to remain aware at all times that it represents the Association. The ads in it are criticized, analyzed, counted, etc. by many that don’t show and don’t like unequal representation and this isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
    I will say TMC had some controversial articles here and there, and it wasn’t perfect…IMO it tended to have the most mistakes, but it had a good magazine format that was appealing to most advertisers and didn’t have to answer to anyone. I kind of liked that. The commemorative Issue was quite large, which would lead one to believe there were plenty of people that liked it enough to plunk down their $800.00/page which says something. We’ll see what happens now…

  6. my handsome Morgan says:

    I do agree that the saddle horse report has a place, and yes, their rep is great. But I also have to argue that the morgan horse has great show coverage, wonderful articles, and the ads are beautiful. I think that the argument over it being jack of all trades master of none is outdated. In my mind, it’s the best. I read it cover to cover each month, and it has so much good stuff in it!
    With so much print media going out of business, it’s important to support the ones that are working hard to maintain excellence-saddle horse report and the morgan horse. Yes, it shall be interesting!

  7. leslie says:

    At first this made me stop and wonder how our relatively little breed supported two glossy, monthly magazines in the first place, but then I thought about it. The Saddlebreds have Saddle & Bridle, The National Horseman and the American Saddlebred, plus the SHR. That breed is similar in numbers to ours (or at least was the last time I saw statistics.) Since they’re all pulling from the same pool of potential advertisers, it’s pretty impressive that they can do it.

    I let my subscription to TMC run out a year or two ago, but I am sad to hear that it may be gone. It’s a fun resource if you’re into the show world but can’t actually get out to very many shows. If it doesn’t get picked up by a buyer, I hope more advertisers will go to TMH which would, theoretically, give them more pages for more editorial content. Nothing against the SHR, but it’s so expensive, and if you don’t care about the Saddlebred shows, half your subscription is going straight to the recycle bin.

  8. khummel says:

    I will miss the morgan connection. I liked its contemporary feel compared to the morgan horse format which seems old and dated to me. I did get a little tired of the same people being featured over and over again . It did come off as a bit clicky but overall I liked it and will miss the magazine and I hope somebody youthful and progressive will pick it up .

  9. StacyGRS says:

    do remember that Saddle and Bridle, NH, Saddle Horse Report, and Horse World have Saddlebreds, Hackney ponies, Hackney horses, Road horses, and Morgans to support them. While the others aren’t near as big of a percentage of their advertisers, I would guess together they help alot.

  10. Carley says:

    i’ll admit that one of the things i DID like about the connection was the focus on show horses, thats what drew me to the breed and what keeps me in it. i have a strong appreciation for the non-show group also, but when i want the latest and greatest news, i’m not going to check out the latest endurance event results.
    as for the saddle horse report… this is completely trivial when it comes to actual content, but i LOATH the physical texture of it. weird right? but i know others that feel the same way, even tho this is one of the features that makes it so up to the minute and such. it also makes it hard to collect, and i have every issue of the connection since i first subscribed.
    I don’t mind that its shared with other breeds, but sometimes i just want to see my pretty morgans and all those other guys get in the way ;)

  11. underdog88 says:

    completely agree with everything you said!

  12. Vintage_Rider says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I advertised ONCE, and JUST ONCE with the Report. The ad turned out horrible, even though I had actually had it professionally produced by a marketing company. The same ad looked fantastic in the Connection, so it wasn’t the ad, just the process for news print I guess.

    I also want to stick up a bit for the breed magazine. I think it has stepped up its game significantly with Stephen moving over, and I LOVED the little side bars on the “newbies” or other fun pieces that came with the GN coverage. Note to self- I meant to send them a note saying so.

    Yes, their coverage on the actual show was disappointingly light, and I am aghast if what Stacy said is true and the reason it is so light, and I have every bit of faith that Stacy would know…. heavy sigh.

    I hope The Connection is picked up if the coverage of the shows remains the same through the breed magazine.

    Change is hard…(refer back to the GoMorgan thread)

  13. leslie says:

    The National Horseman and Saddle and Bridle don’t cover Morgan shows. My old barn, which was Saddlebred-oriented, would include their Morgan riders in ads if we went to an open show that TNH was covering, but that’s the only sort of situation where those magazines would be getting ads from Morgan folk.

    Carley, I don’t think it’s weird that you don’t like the texture of SHR. Photos just don’t look as nice on newsprint as they do on glossy paper, and it’s kind of annoying when you get done reading and notice your fingertips are gray.

    I think one day we’ll all be carrying around e-readers, horse show correspondents will be live blogging, and a weekly paper won’t be considered timely at all. Horse people are notoriously resistant to change, but we’ll get there. The SHR has always had a useful website, so if they play their cards right, I think they’re well-positioned to stay on top of the show world. But I predict the demise of their newsprint edition in the not-too-distant future.

    TMC was slow to get online (wasn’t their website nothing but subscription and ad rates until about a year ago?) Hopefully if someone picks them up they’ll make more use of the website. It would be really cool if it was a website that was devoted to Morgans and had photo slideshows and video coverage of events, video interviews with judges or trainers, etc. Just daydreaming, here. I’d waste a lot of time on a website like that.

  14. RaeOfLight says:

    I’ve often thought about expanding the purpose of this site to include more comprehensive show coverage. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to pay anyone to write articles, etc. I have to admit, with TMC potentially leaving the scene I think even more that it would be way cool if I could turn this site into some sort of online magazine. Of course I would have to do so without compromising the discussion aspect of the site. It’s fun to dream… In the meantime if anyone would be interested in doing show write-ups, I’d be willing to trade some advertising.

  15. Flmorgan says:

    I will miss TMC as I felt it represented the individual barns better in their articles about the show. A few mistakes were made but on the whole it was fun to read. TMH is great also and I enjoy reading all the articles especially the historical and working western.
    Do we all lose our subscription money we paid? Not much money but I’ve never heard of a magazine just going out of business with out a buyer.

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