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The SUV turns into a lifestyle
Dallas-based magazine will target affluent men
08/06/2002
By TERRY BOX / The Dallas Morning News
In highly appropriate fashion, Leonard Wendland rolled into Dallas last year in a Lincoln Navigator, his belongings stuffed into the back of a big sport utility vehicle.
Like thousands of other new arrivals in Dallas, Mr. Wendland hit town with a plan, albeit an unorthodox one: He wanted to start a "lifestyle magazine" built around sport utility vehicles.
Against considerable odds, Mr. Wendland – a dot-com survivor of sorts – says the first edition of Lucky Trucker magazine, which he calls a "fusion of man, road and style," will publish in October.
He said the Dallas-based magazine will be distributed nationally and will feature articles on the "SUV of the month" and on SUVs driven by Hollywood celebrities.


RICHARD MICHAEL PRUITT / DMN
Leonard Wendland says Lucky Trucker, which he calls a "fusion of man, road and style," will publish its first edition in October.
Stories on fitness, relationships and SUV fashion, as well as photos of glamorous women (clothed) also will be part of Lucky Trucker, he said.
"It's really a Robb Report for SUVs," Mr. Wendland said. "We're not going to do a lot of in-your-face technical stuff."
He said he expects his primary readers to be men between the ages of 25 and 45 with average household incomes of more than $100,000.
The magazine should have an initial circulation of about 50,000, he said.
"We are going to be the authority on the SUV lifestyle," said Mr. Wendland, 36, who was born in New York City but grew up on a farm in Arkansas.
"We are in a position to create a lifestyle image – to say, 'OK, this is what you should look like when you drive an SUV on Saturday or Sunday.' "
Successful recipe?

If those ingredients – SUVs, style, fashion – sound like something only Dallas could love, Mr. Wendland is betting big money that his magazine can also find a national audience.
"I started noticing all the SUVs on the road, all the ads for them, and one day, a light bulb just went off," he said.
For years, SUVs have been the fastest-growing truck segment in the industry, surpassing pickups in overall sales last year.
But SUVs have also become lightning rods for controversy.
Safety advocates contend that the top-heavy trucks are dangerous because of the ease with which they can overturn in accidents.
Environmentalists often portray them as symbols of fuel-guzzling, emissions-spewing excess – though many pickups and even some cars burn as much gas as the average SUV.
None of that much concerns Mr. Wendland – and probably for good reason.
Despite the controversy, SUV sales have continued to grow, and some analysts say they will ultimately replace midsize sedans as the largest segment of vehicles in the United States.
"It's like living in a six-bedroom house," he said of SUVs' popularity. "You can't go back to living in a one-bedroom apartment after you've lived in a six-bedroom house."
Mr. Wendland acknowledges that he brings no experience to his new job as publisher of Lucky Trucker.

But he has pumped plenty of money into the magazine – more than $400,000 so far – and is confident that it will succeed.
He said he owns 69 percent of the magazine, and two investors hold the rest.
"I've been putting 18 hours a day, seven days a week into this," Mr. Wendland said. "I'm married to it."
Hard work has always been part of Mr. Wendland's life. As a boy, he said, he moved with his brother and sister to his grandmother's farm in Springdale, Ark., after their father killed himself.
"We went from New York City to milking cows in Arkansas."
He dropped out of school in the eighth grade to help the family, working a series of menial jobs before starting a lawnmowing business.
When he was 17, he sold that business for 10 times what it had cost to start, Mr. Wendland said.
That profit provided the seed money for Intellogic, the computer business he founded in Tulsa, Okla., to develop and sell software to businesses. When the dot-com crash weakened the industry, his business also collapsed.
"The crash wiped 80 percent of the company out," he said. "I had a little money left that I wanted to turn into a lot."
It is likely to be a struggle in the magazine industry. Sixty percent of new magazines fail before they are a year old, said Samir Husni, a professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi who follows the magazine industry.
700 new magazines

Last year alone, 700 magazines were started, adding to the 6,000 publications already available.
"People like to talk about the death of the print business, but that 6,000 compares with 2,000 magazine titles in 1980," said Mr. Husni, who is known as "Mr. Magazine."
Moreover, advertising revenue has withered as the economy has slowed, he and others said.
Advertisers today want proven publications with circulations of 100,000 or more, and even then, insist on monthly rather than annual contracts, Mr. Husni said.
Dan Capell, editor of Capell's Circulation Report in New York, agreed.
"I've been in the business for 30 years, and this is the worst I've ever seen it," Mr. Capell said. "There's just no advertising, and magazines can't exist without advertising."
Mr. Wendland is undeterred.
"Here's why it is so hard to break into this business: There are so many magazines that are similar to each other," he said. "There is not another magazine out there like us – not one."
[HR][/HR]​
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (Hawkmoon)

What the hell is an SUV lifestyle?
That article makes the "SUV lifestyle" sound something like this:
"Woke up, put 30lbs of jel in my hair, ironed my underwear, drove my SUV to starbucks got buzzed on the latest overpriced latte, drove my SUV next door for a peticure, took my SUV to be detailed because my groundskeeper didn't dust the driveway this morning, accidently ran over some poor old lady because I was too preocupied with wiping the fingerprint off my door handle while simultaniously trying to avoid driving over the ciggarette butt in the road............"
[SARCASM]Gee, I don't see why this isn't working for MR Wendland[/SARCASM]
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (Hawkmoon)

[QUOTE
"We are in a position to create a lifestyle image – to say, 'OK, this is what you should look like when you drive an SUV on Saturday or Sunday.' "
[/QUOTE]
Gee, I wish someone would make a lifestyle magazine for us compact-sedan owners. I'd like to know what to wear when I drive my car on Saturday or Sunday.
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (Kyle C)

This guy has appearently never seen the "Canyonero" episode of the Simpsons. That song that Hank Jr. sings manages to sum up the "SUV Lifestyle" pretty well.
I'll find the lyrics and post them if this thread survives.
And what the crapp is the "6 bedroom house" comaparison? ....
Pimped out Escalade (like you might find in [Lucky Trucker]), or Boxter S.... Gosh, I sure will miss all that room....when I'm carving canyons, and picking up attractive women
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (boybaha)

quote:[HR][/HR]Gee, I wish someone would make a lifestyle magazine for us compact-sedan owners. I'd like to know what to wear when I drive my car on Saturday or Sunday.[HR][/HR]​
Some of the "import" mags seem more like lifestyle magazines than car magazines... Heck, even Sport Compact Car which is usually the least corny of all the "import" magazines has a 2-page section about new music releases.
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (shftat6)

quote:[HR][/HR]Coming soon to a dealer near you... The GQ Expedition.
[HR][/HR]​
Need to learn to not drink water whilst reading vortex...

I dunno, I find alot of things funny now days, like that damn article.
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (Hawkmoon)


quote:[HR][/HR]
Sedition:
Crime of creating a revolt, disturbance, or violence against lawful vehicles with the intent to cause its overthrow or destruction. Because it is limited to organizing and encouraging opposition to vehicles rather than directly participating in its overthrow, sedition is regarded as falling one step short of the more serious crime of treason. [HR][/HR]​
Stop inciting riots you rabble rouser!!
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (amarshall)

quote:[HR][/HR]sounds like a magazine for men unsure of their manhood.[HR][/HR]​
Yeah, but not with a name like "Lucky Trucker".

Where's that pink smiley with its hand in the air?
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (Hawkmoon)

quote:[HR][/HR]"It's really a Robb Report for SUVs," Mr. Wendland said. "We're not going to do a lot of in-your-face technical stuff." [HR][/HR]​
Probably because none of it would be understood.
I would, however, think it would be good to have articles that would help the SUV driving masses... like:
--- 4 wheel drive. It's not just a badge to impress the neighbors. How to actually activate it.
--- Corners are for cars. The right lane is for you.
--- Starbucks parking tips.
--- Installing the Viagra Dispenser.
--- Brush Guards and Children.
--- Offroading Series, Part I - Overcoming the fear of Speedbumps.
--- Offroading Series, Part II - Parking in the Grass, at the Soccer Field.
--- Offroading Series, Part III - Unswept Roads.
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (Surf Green)

This hearkens back to my "North Face edition" Chevy Avalance thread of last winter.
I immediately plastered Linken Bindings patches over all of the North Face logos on my jackets! I should have seen this coming.....
 

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Re: Oh you SUV bashers are gonna love this (Surf Green)

Will there be anything about towing or going off-road? Or even about enjoying this big-ass 7 passenger thing with your family? (Families aren't big Robb Report topic matter.)
Even single-marque magazines like Bimmer or Excellence talk about vehicle history, repair, and those horrid "in-your-face" technical issues. I think Lucky Trucker will die an early death (the magazine business is in horrible condition right now) - or be revealed as a late April Fool's joke.
Tom
 
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