Duke Out, Hersam in at CGI

The Competitor Group, Inc., the corporation that combined events like Muddy Buddy and the Rock and Roll running series and Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, Velo News and Competitor magazines, announced this week that long-time Triathlete publisher John Duke was leaving the company.

Duke became publisher of Triathlete in 1997 and through an aggressive strategy pulled it from near-death to a dominant position in the multisport publishing marketplace. In his two years at CGI, Duke served as Senior Vice President of Print Media and saw that all four CGI magazines were profitable in a difficult economic era that was particularly hard on magazines. Perhaps his best move was to approve and support editor TJ Murphy’s daring transformation of Inside Triathlon into a Surfer’s Journal style profitable artistic success.

CGI Executive Vice President of Media Andrew Hersam, who left his job as Publisher of Runners World Media Group to join CGI last July, will take over Duke’s duties overseeing the four magazines. According to Hersam, CGI made Duke a lucrative offer to launch the new CGI Sprint Triathlon Series but Duke declined.

Hersam will assume direct oversight of CGI’s print, digital, and sponsorship sales for all of CGI’s media and event properties. Senior Vice President John Smith will continue to manage CGI’s national sales force reporting to Hersam. In his expanded duties, Hersam will also add the responsibilities previously handled by Duke.

These staffing changes follow the recent promotion of Inside Triathlon’s Editor in Chief and former Editor of Triathlete, TJ Murphy, who has been appointed Editorial Director for all multisport media publications of CGI. Brad Culp, Editor of Triathlete and Susan Grant, Assistant Editor of Inside Triathlon, will directly report to Murphy.

In a press release, CGI President and CEO Peter Englehart praised Duke’s contributions: “John has been a huge asset. His lists of accomplishments are many, of course, but there are some highlights that stand out. When CGI purchased Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, Velo News, Velo Press and Competitor Magazine we tapped John to spearhead the transition of these titles under the Competitor Group umbrella. He did an outstanding job. Also outstanding is the legacy he leaves behind from his years at Triathlete and his love and dedication to the multisport world.”

Duke, who also ran Reebok’s triathlon sponsorship program with athletes such as Peter Reid, Natascha Badmann and Greg Welch, was a co-founder of Multisports training camps and heads Newton running shoes elite athletes program, declined to comment at this time.