Cigar Aficionado publisher inhales magazine award

Marvin Shanken, the entrepreneur behind Wine Spectator, and Cigar Aficionado, was given the Association of Magazine Media’s lifetime achievement award, presented by Condé Nast chairman Jonathan Newhouse.

“Marvin belongs to the elite coterie of magazine makers, the geniuses of our business. In today’s media landscape, where the walls between ads and edit are nonexistent, Marvin maintains an iron curtain,” he remarked. “S.I. Newhouse once said, ‘Why do we send limousines to pick up people to come to our events and Marvin gets people to pay thousands of dollars to come to his?‘”

Ironically, the Newhouse family’s Advance Publications had tried to buy M. Shanken Communications in the 1990s, when Steve Florio was still CEO of Condé Nast Publications.

“The talks never got serious,” Shanken told Media Ink. “I was never going to sell.” He said the secret to his success was never straying from publishing in areas where he enjoyed the product.

Shanken also announced that he is launching a digital cannabis newsletter, which he plans to send to executives in the wine and spirits industry. He said it will appear every Tuesday morning, as part of his digital Shanken News Daily, edited by David Fleming.

Shanken said the intersection between the wine and spirits industry and the industry is huge, with investment in the billions of dollars.

“With so many of our readers either already investing in cannabis or getting ready to jump in, the time was right to educate and inform them of opportunities in this major growth market,” Shanken said.

Despite the legalization of cannabis on the state level, it is still considered an illegal narcotic at the federal level. But Shanken said there is talk that cannabis could be legalized and sold and regulated through wine and spirits distributors and retailers.