Alright, here we go. TR is now owned by John Rampton and John Hall. It's still an independent site, just with new owners, we're not part of a massive conglomerate or anything. Despite being off to a rough start with the redesign, we're more stable now and the possibility to invest and grow actually exists, instead of just being wishful thinking. But both sides have some learning to do about the other.
Technically, the new guys have owned the site for a few months, but they have left business as usual alone (except for the Twitter and FB bots and the redesign obviously) while the rest of us have continued to do our thing as we saw fit. There's no indication that's going to change. Of course, the existing writers have concerns, we'd be crazy not to. Not looping us in before the redesign launched was very uncool. Hopefully, we'll get better at communicating and avoid missteps like that in the future.
I think anyone who is a regular knew about the backend issues with TR, but I don't know that I remember much of a discussion regarding the site being sold. Was there any discussion of Adam looking for a buyer, and I just somehow completely missed it? Is John Rampton a good friend of Adam's, or how did this new buyer enter the picture?
It's a moot point now, as what's done is done, but how much money were we really talking here? I realize TR wasn't 'profitable', but was it 'losing 30k a month' in the red? What does 'not profitable' really entail? Was it possible that someone like myself could have bought it, and worked on maintaining the forums and legacy TR, with the occasional pet project or review posting?
I'm sure this information is all above our collective pay grade, but I think it still rings at least a bit sour with many of us, that vanilla TR has appeared to have been ripped away from us, without much context provided.
The answers to some of your questions are a combination of things I don't know and things it would be inappropriate for me to share. Here's the best I can offer. The fact that the site was for sale was a private matter. I don't believe Adam knew John before the sale negotiations started but I think he knew of
him. There was a bit of a catch 22 going on because resources were stretched as long as possible but in the end there wasn't enough funding to hire a new EIC. That was the nail in the coffin of old TR. Advertising contracts ended and weren't renewed (thanks YouTube), Nvidia never played ball (even with Scott out of the picture
), sub money was a small percentage of the total income, the mining craze killed GPU commissions permanently, affiliate links for other items kept declining, and the list of reasons could go on.
You're right, TR as we know it was unceremoniously ripped away from all of us, but it's not dead. It would have died months ago if Adam didn't take this chance and Adam, for all his hard work to keep things afloat, would have nothing to show for it but a significant
debt. He had to lookout for his family and no one blames him for that in the slightest. There was no choice and no better options, but there were worse
options that would have made Adam more money. Even though this one was a bit of a gamble, it was the only one that left TR independent. The new owners may not be the most personable folks so far (to put it mildly), but there's no indication that the new stuff they want to do to make the site profitable will somehow obviate what TR has been doing at lest since Jeff left and hopefully it will lead to more than that if we can bring on some more writers and attract more hardware to review.
Hope that helps with your perspective.
As a subscriber I can't remember if the subscriptions automatically renew? (since the subscription page and status are broken and devoid of any info). If it does have an auto renew where can we cancel?
Will the new owners offer refunds as some of the perks which were advertised for subscriptions no longer work?
I'm working on this, high priority.