WTC Sells Lava Magazine

A double-A list of endurance industry heavyweights that include Ironman executive John Duke, longtime CEO Dave Alberga, and president Matt Landa, are the new owners of Lava Magazine.

World Triathlon Corporation, owners and producers of the Ironman brand of endurance athletic events, bankrolled Lava Magazine as a start-up two years ago, when former owner of Triathlete Magazine John Duke (pictured) left Competitor Group to join forces with Ironman.

The period intervening saw a change of direction at WTC, with a new CEO, Andrew Messick, and a general housecleaning and refocusing of the Ironman brand on what Messick sees as his core mission: the worldwide expansion of Ironman-branded races. The sale of Lava Magazine is a further clearing of the decks in pursuit of that mission. "Ironman is in the business of creating extraordinary races and event experiences," said Messick in a short statement announcing the sale of Lava, "not publishing."

Duke remains a key executive at WTC, and is part of the core group of Ironman brand ambassadors and deal makers.

If Lava Magazine placed WTC in the uncomfortable position of producing events while owning a magazine that competed with publications WTC wants to have champion its events, the sale of Lava goes a good distance toward solving that.

Still, Lava Magazine will retain a favored relationship with WTC, as the official publication of Ironman, with unique access to Ironman customers and registrants.

Duke and his partners will trust the day-to-day operations to Lava publisher Heather Gordon. The rest of the Lava Mag crew remain with the publication, with Jay Prasuhn as senior editor, Brad Culp as editor-in-chief, and features editor Susan Grant-Legacki.