Furloughed A360 Media editors land new posts at rival publisher

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Some furloughed staffers of A360 Media are going back to work — but not for the publisher of the National Enquirer.

Pocket Outdoor Media, headed by endurance sports entrepreneur Robin Thurston, has hired Micah Abrams, the recently furloughed editor of Men’s Journal, and Sierra Shafer, Powder’s editor-in-chief.

A360 Media, formerly known as American Media, kicked off widespread furloughs for its sports and fitness publications in October when it paused printing for titles like Bike, Powder, Snowboarder and Surfer.

“Pocket is picking off a lot of talent from A360,” said Abrams, who also oversaw content strategy for A360’s collection of sporting and fitness properties.

He’s now vice president of editorial strategy for Pocket’s Ski magazine and its Warren Miller Entertainment studio. Shafer will oversee the relaunch of Ski magazine as editor-in-chief.

Pocket Outdoor Media previously hired Nicole Formosa, A360’s furloughed editor-in-chief of Bike magazine, and four other staffers for plans to launch a new mountain bike brand to start in early 2021.

“The success of our business depends on producing great content,” said Thurston, Pocket’s CEO. “We hired the former Bike editorial staff for this reason, and hiring Micah and Sierra furthers our commitment to artful storytelling as our north star.”

Thurston sold his Mapmyfitness app to Under Armour for $130 million back in 2013. His new company landed a Series A funding round in July and promptly snapped up 16 titles from Active Interest Media, including Yoga Journal, SKI, Climbing, Backpacker, Warren Miller Entertainment, Oxygen, IDEA Health and Fitness Association, Clean Eating, Vegetarian Times, Better Nutrition, NatuRx, Muscle & Performance, Nastar, Fly Fishing Film Tour, National Park Trips, and SNEWS. 

Earlier this month, Pocket raised another $5.7 million in venture money and snapped up Big Stone Publishing, which publishes digital titles Rock & Ice, Trail Runner and Gym Climber. Sources said Pocket has raised over $20 million in venture funding.

Abrams and Shafer start their new gigs on Jan. 4.

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