Sam Kinison


For those who think they know what I am and what I stand for this may surprise you.  I am all for the American Dream but I have also seen so many times that the plain greed of corporations has ruined as much as they have advanced over the years.  The difference between me and the ones who wish to make war on all companies and those who profit by them, go so far the other way that they should go live in Venezuela to see how well the Socialist policies work.  HINT: Take you food with you or you will be on the national diet plan called ‘starving to death’.

There was a man who had a successful publishing company that had an idea.  It happened that he had bought the property across the street where I grew up.  When he started his new venture it went so wild that he sold the other magazines he was making a living from and rode the bull to the top with his new venture.

It was so timely and popular that he moved into new offices in Wichita and then made the move to Sheridan Wyoming because he loved it up there and it was the heart of what his new magazine covered.  The magazine was called American Cowboy Magazine.

I became a charter subscriber at the Pretty Prairie Rodeo where they had set up a booth.  And I became a fan ever since until now.  What changed?  They did.

You have to understand that the publishing world is one huge conglomerate that takes a Philadelphia lawyer to figure out who owns it and where they are located.  These huge publishing concerns hire people to put out quality products but the biggest thing is to watch the numbers.  And this is what happened.

The creator and publisher of American Cowboy enjoyed several years of success.  At which point he wanted to retire.  Nothing wrong with this.  But in order to do so the magazines numbers had caught the attention of a huge publisher who is located in Los Angeles, Florida, and probably New York (I never did track down the entire company).  The magazine sold and the offices moved from Sheridan Wyoming to Boulder Colorado.  Was it the same after the ownership change?  Not really.  It was slicker and the writers and contributors did credible work but it was never the same personal cowboy publication it originally was.

After renewing my subscription it was not a month or two and I received the ‘LAST ISSUE’ of the magazine.  A card came informing me that my subscription would be fulfilled with a sister publication ‘Horse and Rider’.   I was aware of the publication but if I had wanted it I would have subscribed to it.  I am magazine poor and I have had to cut back even at this.

Quickly e-mailing a protest and demanding refunding for my subscription I had no reply from the company.  Until today!  With the new magazine arriving and obviously the company was ignoring those who demanded refunds, I called.  And I am mad.

I am getting a refund (they promised) and I did send a message to management through the poor lady who endured me.  I found it irritating that I was not only ignored on my request but that the company had sent a letter asking for me to extend my subscription to the magazine after they announced that they were closing it down.

In my research of many things Kansas, I find over the years, that so many ideas, dreams, patents, and pursuits were dashed by big corporate indifference.  Corporate responsibility is not just the return on investment it is the owing to the customer of a superior product with superior service.  This gets lost at some level in many companies.  In fact books have been written on the subject.

The nameless company that killed American Cowboy has done a disservice to loyal readers.  Maybe the numbers are so big they could care less.  But when I spend my money on a publication that is not a necessity, but a pleasure, I get mad when it is killed by greed and indifference.

I have actively tried to revive a publication that I loved years ago and had the rights acquired to operate it.  But I lacked the funds to do so.  I understand the numbers and the blood sweat and tears it takes to create and publish a magazine.  So that publication is long gone.  It is with much sadness that I say goodbye to American Cowboy Magazine.

I am still mad.

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