By on November 12, 2010

Regular readers of automotive luminary Mike Spinelli’s Twitter account were informed yesterday that his employer, 0-60 Magazine, is ceasing publication. Is this the canary in the print-rag coal mine?

It’s possible that many of you have no idea what “0-60 Magazine” was, so here’s a precis: There’s this dude, Ken Block, who made a zillion dollars having shoes sewn overseas. I’ll spare all of you my usual lecture on the morality of “pad checks”, sweatshops, child labor, brutal suppression of worker dissent, and all of that. If you care at all about the lives of your fellow human beings, even if they are “yellow” and very far away, you can check it out for yourself here.

Back to Block. Ken Block has a super-best friend named Brian Scotto. Maybe he’s a sidekick. They both seem like nice enough people, I guess. Scotto started 0-60 Magazine in August 2007, publishing it monthly for the first two years and then moving to bimonthly issues in 2009. As I recall, 0-60 was supposed to be a “British magazine for the United States” or something like that. I never managed to make it all the way through an entire article without giving up so I do not feel qualified to render an opinion. I do know that there was a lot of Ken Block coverage, probably for the same reason that any car magazine started by yours truly would have a lot of Tiffani-Amber what’s-her-name coverage.

Mike Spinelli, known far and wide as one of the primary forces behind Jalopnik’s stellar early years, was brought in at the beginning of 2010 to polish 0-60‘s content and shine-up its reputation. This was roughly tantamount to letting George Santayana edit Tiger Beat and I am not certain that Spin’s eloquent style was popular with the sideways-Monster-Energy-Drink-cap crowd. Regardless of the reasons, however, it’s all over now.

I’m not particularly eager to hold up 0-60‘s failure as an indictment of automotive print journalism. I would suggest that it tells us something about the demographic direction in which any future entry to the market will have to travel in order to be successful. Young people don’t read print magazines very much, and they also don’t have money to spend at the newsstand. On the other hand, the various Cigar/Guitar/CBT Aficionado magazines seem to be doing quite well. The few people who are buying print rags today seem to be purchasing them for in-flight consumption of stories about luxury travel and conspicuous consumerism.

With any luck, Mr. Spinelli will find employment better-suited to his considerable talent and Ken Block fans will find another outlet devoted to full-time coverage of his wacky exploits.

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28 Comments on “0-60 Magazine Ends The (Reader) Suffering...”

  • avatar

    I get some print magazines here, automobile and road and track, and a few non auto mags.  Interestingly, I never heard of this mag.  I also go to the local Barnes and Nobile and read mags from their huge stock.  Either they didnt carry it, or I never saw it.  Or maybe their front was so garish that I never thought it had anything to say to me, a 60 something guy.  Also, I am not pleased at all about the exploitation of workers.  So its prob just as good that I missed it completely.

    In any event, I really dont  know if the younguns are buying mags, I know that after a long time without them, I am gettin back into them.   They are nice to read, I like the art, they smell good.  I hope they stick around.

  • avatar

    Had a free subscription to this for a year, but never caught on (can’t say it was the magazine’s fault as I also read here plus several car mags, so I’m pretty saturated, but who knows).  I do know, however, that despite being a gearhead, I personally much prefer Baruth’s carsploitation stories and Paul’s CCs over endless tests of souped-up 1800HP supercars – perhaps I’m not the only one and perhaps this is an indication of a larger mistake the car mags are making in general; related to this point – just picked up the first issue ever of Car and Driver (a.k.a. Sports Cars Illustrated at that time) and have to say – it seems that times sure have changed with respect to the approach and target audience for car magazines.

    Ask Spinelli to do a few guest editorials over here!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Magazines = airline travelers, medical offices and libraries.
    In otherwords… your analysis of the current market is square on. Be prepared for TTAC to launch a car mag called ‘Panther’ in the upcoming months.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      In otherwords… your analysis of the current market is square on. Be prepared for TTAC to launch a car mag called ‘Panther’ in the upcoming months.
      This being a Baruth article and all you just brought to my mind some disturbing images that have nothing to do with BOF RWD cars.  Although if you wanted to drape a Cougar or a MILF across the hold of Sajeev’s Grand Marquis coupe… I’d buy that issue.

    • 0 avatar

      “Panther Quarterly” is entirely doable.  And Lang will gladly be our Continental Mark VI expert.

    • 0 avatar

      Panther – buried. W-bodies rule! Chevy rules! GM forever!

  • avatar

    “This was roughly tantamount to letting George Santayana edit Tiger Beat.”

    Outstanding.  I was compelled to share this post with some of my colleagues at work for that line alone.  It’s this level of prose and wit that leads me to read everything Baruth posts here, even when, as in this case, I care not one whit about the actual subject matter.

  • avatar

    I tried to read through an issue of 0-60 once at a book store cafe and laughed half the time.  It wasn’t that it was amateur just not very good.  The relationship with Block and Spinelli (name is too close to Spiccoli?) always seemed to remind me of Matt Damon’s great buddy Ben Aflak (riding another’s coattails).

  • avatar

    “CBT Aficionado”
    Heh. Good one.

  • avatar

    Let the buff stuff die.  What wankers: they can “tell” the difference in handling, etc from year to year.  They ignore that they drive only new cars, specially-prepped from the mfg’s.  For the good, “dirty hands stuff”, read this site, Hot Rod, Street Rodder, Engine Masters, & the like.

  • avatar

    Last night I re-watched an episode of Top Gear that featured Ken Block’s drifting shenanigans. That’s stochasticity for ya. Had absolutely no idea Ken Block founded DC Shoes.

  • avatar

    my beef wasn’t that the magazine sucked, it’s that no one cares about 0-60 times, unless you’re dumb.
    it’s all about 1/4 ET and trap speed

  • avatar

    To think I missed this magazine’s entire life is just, well, depressing probably is the wrong word.  Phillip Knight’s great discovery was not using a waffle iron on the sole of a shoe, it was that paying Indonesian 15 year old girls a dollar day was a hell of a lot better way to make shoes/money than paying some guy in New England $4.50 an hour (good pay back in 1971) to do the same thing.  Interestingly enough, the first running Nikes I bought in ’74 ‘(73?) lasted longer than all the others I have had since by a factor of about five.  Maybe he figured that one out too?  What we were talking about?  Oh, car magazines. Eh.

  • avatar

    Too many print car mags anyway. There needs to be consolidation because there’s not enough differentiation.
    “Print magazine” is narrow enough. There’s no room within that category for a magazine to simply be subtly different than others.
    The most interesting print magazines are those that are WAY different. Hemmings Classic Car is consistently a smorgasbord of car nuttery. Did you see the latest one on “nine future collectible Cadillacs”? Whatta chewy article!

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    *Sigh…* I’m going to miss books and magazines…

    Imagine. It’s a peaceful evening after a hard day’s work. It’s finally time to make myself some tea, settle down into a comfortable recliner, download a digital file onto my $500 iPhone and hastily scan through it on the blinding-bright Hi-def LCD screen.

    Not quite the same, is it?

  • avatar

    Never seen nor heard of 0-60; judging by the cover, it looks terrible. Comparing a collection of hopped-up performance cars that most people will never own at speeds virtually no one will ever travel at is hardly a recipe for success.

    I read articles from MT, C&D, and AM, but all online; haven’t bought a newstand issue in years. 

  • avatar

    Does anyone remember “MPH” that ran a few years ago. THAT was 0-60 done right. Most entertaining auto articles I’ve ever read. I don’t know why they shut down so soon.

    • 0 avatar

      I liked MPH. Seemed like the “Car lifestyle” type magazines like MPH didn’t really make in roads against the established, more straightforward publications.
      I may have bought my SRT-4 partly based on their SRT-4 ACR vs BMW M3 article…

  • avatar

    I actually liked 0-60, haha at everyone who never read it hating just because Jack didn’t like it…you got groupies now Jack!

    I haven’t subscribed to print mags for years now, but I did pony up for that one last year after buying an issue. I did have trouble even reading that one, so I declined it this year, no because it wasn’t good stuff.

    I like stories and interesting comparisons. 13 way comparos between a bunch of similar cars doesn’t really do it for me. 0-60 had Old vs. New Taurus SHO, Amish youths driving wild during “Rumspringa”, Finnish hot rodders building outlandish 1200hp machines in their barns…interesting stuff.

    I guess it wasn’t enough, I didn’t renew and now they are gone, but they deserve a little repsect.

  • avatar

    CBT Aficionado

    That sounds more like Bertel’s beat.

  • avatar

    Sad but not unexpected. I’m a newsstand nut and every so often I would flip through 0-60. Only bought one issue but what an issue: 50 years of Lotus, a write-up on individual throttle bodies and a Mark VIII converted to be a salt racer. Later issues might have had one or two good articles but not worth paying $5.99 for.
    There needs to be more differentiation in car magazines. Hot Rod, Car Craft and Chevy High Performance are basically the same mag. CandD and R&T have basically become one. Even CnD’s mortal enemy, Motor Trend, looks and reads the same. It doesn’t help that MT is staffed by ex-CnD writers and Johnny Lieberman.
    MPH was certainly different. It taught me how to get head from hot busty hitchhikers.

  • avatar

    Hmmm. Not so sure about this whole thread. First, I’d be surprised if this is true. The 0-60 party at SEMA was full swing and the people I know on the masthead were talking about plans for 2011. If it is folding, it must have been a surprise to them. Second, it’s actually a good magazine. People who read TTAC would probably like it. Anyone who has an ongoing series reviewing the top 60 cars of all time, but are unpretentious enough to include e30 M3s etc., should attract the attention of any true car aficionados. I actually find it the most interesting car mag in the US. Third. I think it existed as a going concern before the percieved association with Block, although Brian and Block certainly are close now.

    Anyway. hope it’s not true. And, in true TTAC tradition, be sceptical before you toe the line.


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