By Andre’ M. Dall’au
I have been getting a lot of calls and questions about the sudden disappearance of familiar gun, survival and tactical magazines off the shelves of local bookstores, markets and newsstands. Although I should have done this weeks ago, let me answer some frequently asked questions about the demise of the company that I, and many of my pals wrote thousands of articles about the guns, equipment, training and people in one of the strongest industries in the country. This is what I have gleaned from conversations, so if there are any inaccuracies please understand that is reflective of the COMPLETE fog of war from the bushwhacking that many people connected with Harris Publications felt.
- What happened? – Harris Publications is officially in bankruptcy and is selling off all assets and intellectual properties.
- Why? – Right now the only statement was such that it was in response to the effect of social media that has made print magazines less profitable or unprofitable. The interesting footnote that the tactical magazines were faring better than most of the over seventy titles that Harris published so quite possibly it was the other titles that doomed the tactical group.
- Will there be any more publications of the magazine we all have been used to seeing in our mailboxes and newsstands? – A definite No, and a little yes. Harris publications WILL NOT print ANY FURTHER magazines. However a couple of the most respected and excellent editors have started BANG MEDIA and have obtained properties for several website and print titles, so quite possibly we WILL see some of those titles reborn.
- What if I feel that I am owed money? – There has been a process established by the lawyers presiding over the bankruptcy to address claims but it will expire shortly.
- Did ANYONE at Harris Tactical group see this coming? – No, the people I talked up to and including the highest positioned members of the editorial staff were gob smacked. They were called into a meeting about 11:00 on Thursday, told they had until 13:00 to get ALL their payroll and expenses submitted and had to be out of their spaces by 18:00 the next day for good.
- How did the people that worked for Harris as employees or contributors fare? – Not well, but most have bounced back. Many of the editors have already been picked up by other titles or companies. Some employees with DECADES of loyal service were essentially fired with little or no severance pay, let alone have the customary heads-up to look for a comparable position while still employed. A bunch of the core contributors quickly banded together to find out what we could and help each other publish orphan articles and locate venues to keep active.
- Is there anything that shooters or readers can do to reverse this? – Not a goddam thing. However, you can support the venues that the Harris refugees have fled and give them the best support you can, with your subscriptions and ad monies. Our industry is strong, familial and takes good care of each other so even though this was a screw job for a lot of people, please reach out and help the people who lost careers or revenue by your transferred loyalty or business.