Twenty-five years ago this January, the snow-covered shoulder of Mount Adams graced the cover of this magazine beneath a new name: AMC Outdoors.
After 86 years of publication, first as Bulletin of the Appalachian Mountain Club and then as Appalachia Bulletin, the title change was the first step in a larger evolution—and a way to differentiate the magazine from Appalachia, the mountaineering journal that AMC has published continuously since 1876. The Bulletin had long served to publicize activities and meetings and to chronicle club news, but AMC wanted to appeal to readers of popular publications, such as Outside and Backpacker. “We saw an explosion in the outdoor industry,” says Catherine Buni, who, as editor from 1988 through 1998, oversaw the 1993 transition. “We thought, Let’s create something that engages on a deeper level and in a broader way.”
The new name was the product of months of internal discussions, meetings with an advisory committee, and outreach to readers. AMC Bulletin, AMC Outdoor Traveler, AMC Journey, and The Trail Ledger were just a few of the nixed options. In the years that followed, growing ad sales allowed Buni to invest in better photography, color printing, and professional writers. “There had to be compelling stories,” she says. “And readers really responded.”
Two hundred and seventeen issues later, AMC Outdoors continues to evolve while maintaining that focus on great storytelling. We hope our three golds and a bronze from the 2017 Association Media & Publishing’s Excel Awards signal we’re on the right track, but we always welcome your feedback. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And thanks for reading.