The CEO of Sextant Publishing, the company that purchased cruising lifestyle magazine Latitudes & Attitudes from founder Bob Bitchin before it went belly-up last summer amid accusations and legal battles, is finally telling his side of the story.
Sextant CEO Dennis “DJ” Doran made public a comprehensive website detailing his version of events that led to the demise of the magazine launched in 1996 by Bob Bitchin — whose birth name is Robert Lipkin — and his wife, Jody, which Sextant Publishing bought from Bitchin in January 2011.
Doran titled the website: “The Inglorious Demise of Latitudes & Attitudes and Seafaring.com.”
Doran said it took Sextant a long time to respond to comments addressing the matter in which the magazine folded because the company needed time to “recover from the catastrophic financial losses and stunning betrayals during the closing of Latitudes and Attitudes.”
“Over the last year, many things have been said without a response from us. We chose not [to] respond because at the time we were struggling just to digest everything that was happening,” Doran wrote in a blog post on the web page titled “Summary of Events.”
The site includes links titled “Contracts and Documents,” “Financial and Accounting,” “Legal” and “Emails.”
When asked to respond, Bitchin told Trade Only Today in an email that he had worked hard to build a good reputation during his 20 years in the marine industry.
“I really would rather not play this game,” Bitchin said. “It just gives credence to Mr. Doran's rants. My advertisers and readers are my best defense. I am very proud of what I created and sorry to see where it went once I sold it.”
Former editor Sue Morgan told Trade Only at the time of the collapse that she didn’t know where the publishers were, but confirmed longtime staffer Capt. Woody Henderson’s blog post that the crew showed up to work to find the doors chained shut.
Bitchin and other longtime staffers joined to form The Bitchin Group and have since launched a digital and quarterly print magazine called Cruising Outpost.
— Reagan Haynes