- David Ritchie takes the helm as Group CEO
- Expansion in Media, Tournaments, Expeditions and Advocacy
- Natasha Lloyd named VP Sales; Dave Morel joins as Sales Director;
- Capt. Jen Copeland named Marlin Expeditions Director
- marlinmag.com becomes digital hub for all activities
For Immediate Release
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February 14, 2024 – WINTER PARK, FL – Bonnier LLC, publisher of Marlin magazine, has announced organizational changes and investments that will significantly expand Marlin’s global footprint within the big-game fishing community.
Leading this expansion is David Ritchie, The Marlin Group CEO and former Marlin editor-in-chief.
“David Ritchie is the ideal person to lead The Marlin Group,” said Jens Mueffelmann, Executive Chairman of Bonnier LLC. “He has been connected to Marlin for more than 35 years—as its editor-in-chief, as a client, and in a variety of C-suite positions, helping to foster its success. He has fished our tournaments, has attended our expeditions and knows our clients. I have utmost confidence in his stewardship of the group.”
“To say that Marlin is close to my heart does not adequately capture the affection that I have for this brand,” Ritchie said. “To once again apply full focus to building on the Marlin Group’s already dominant position in the marketplace is incredibly gratifying and energizing. I am really proud of the team we’ve assembled, and have high confidence in our growth plans.”
Anchoring that team is Natasha Lloyd, recently appointed as Vice President, Sales.
“In her role as Publisher, Natasha has been the champion for Marlin for 27 years,” said Ritchie. “No one has their finger on the pulse of the offshore fishing industry like she does, and I’m thrilled Natasha will continue to drive expansion across all Marlin Group activities in her new role.”
Ritchie also recruited industry veteran Dave Morel to join The Marlin Group as Sales Director. Morel brings with him decades of experience as a sales executive within the marine category, having held leadership positions at boat dealerships, ad agencies, boat and engine manufacturers and several leading marine publications.
“Dave Morel joining the team is a huge development,” said Ritchie. “He is a pro, is well-respected by everyone in the industry, and was able to hit the ground running on Day One. I cannot imagine anyone better suited to help drive Marlin’s growth plans.”
Collectively, The Marlin Group—incorporating print and digital media, international fishing tournaments and global expeditions—reaches a half million boat owners, anglers, captains and mates annually.
Marlinmag.com has been relaunched to showcase all group initiatives under one umbrella. On this new site, users will find robust coverage of the big-game fishing boats, gear and destinations, along with updates on key issues impacting offshore fishing and the marine industry. The site will also serve as the key hub for Marlin Tournaments and Expeditions, where participants can register for upcoming events or gain access to live coverage of events in progress.
In 2024, The Marlin Group has aggressive growth plans across four core areas of focus:
Marlin magazine, the big-game fishing authority for more than 40 years, will benefit in 2024 from enhancements in editorial, design and production values, ensuring that each issue is truly collectible. Digitally, focus will be applied to grow both digital audience and digital products. Sam White, an industry veteran with extensive experience in both media and tournaments, will continue to support growth initiatives as Editor-in-Chief.
The Marlin Group operates the Offshore World Championship in Costa Rica, the Bermuda Triple Crown, the Scrub Island Billfish Series in the British Virgin Islands, and the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In 2024, Tournament Director Jennifer Dudas will focus on introducing further enhancements to these prestigious events while also expanding the group’s footprint in international tournaments.
The Marlin Group regularly hosts anglers on Marlin Expeditions across the globe, with stops in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Australia and other billfishing hotspots. In 2024, additional expeditions for both individual anglers and corporate partners will be added, providing increased access to the world’s best fishing grounds, set against a backdrop of skill development. Leading this expansion is Capt. Jen Copeland, recently appointed Director, Marlin Expeditions. Copeland is uniquely qualified for this position, given her two decades of experience as a professional sportfishing captain as well as previously serving as senior editor of Marlin magazine and lead instructor for Marlin Expeditions.
Marlin has a long history of advocacy for the conservation of billfish and other pelagic species. This year, The Marlin Group will become even more active in the campaign to conserve the fishery and industry, with innovative marketing programs that align corporate support with worthy educational, research and advocacy causes. Franki Krock, Marketing Director, will play a key role in developing these advocacy programs and partnerships.
About The Marlin Group
The Marlin Group is the world’s largest big-game fishing network. The group publishes Marlin magazine, the industry’s No. 1 source since 1981, and operates the Offshore World Championship in Costa Rica; Los Cabos Billfish Tournament in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Scrub Island Billfish Series in the British Virgin Islands; and the Bermuda Triple Crown, making it the worldwide leader for international billfishing tournaments. Marlin Expeditions, formerly Marlin University, has led anglers on educational excursions to the globe’s top big-game fishing destinations for more than 20 years. The Marlin Group is a core division of Bonnier LLC, an outdoor-adventure company that fuels passion for fishing, motorsports and hunting.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – The participants in this year’s Los Cabos Billfish Tournament enjoyed perfect weather and a great bite at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. The fleet of 53 teams caught and video-verified 138 billfish, including 91 striped marlin, 26 blue marlin, 19 sailfish and two black marlin. A total of $862,350 in cash was awarded. Team Reel Cast, a 48-foot Cabo with Capt. Zach Morrow, mate Hiram Ruelas and teammates Bill Pino, Doug Berg and Javier Ruelas earned 1,225 points from one weighed 500-pound blue marlin caught by Bill Pino, one blue marlin, five striped marlin and two sailfish—all released—to win the 2022 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament. The team’s blue marlin, caught on the second day, earned all levels of the Daily Marlin Jackpots and first place in the Largest Marlin Jackpots, a total of $354,000. They also took home an invitation to compete in the 2023 Costa Offshore World Championship.
Team El Suertudo, an 80-foot Weaver with Capt. Greg Distefano, mate Oswaldo Ortega and teammates Guy Yocom, Scotty Walker, Jeff Richardson, Bruce McDonald, Alan Ortega and Alfonso Ortega scored 1,000 points from two blue marlin and 16 striped marlin releases to place second in the tournament. El Suertudo picked up a Daily Release Jackpot and First Place Overall Release Points Jackpot, earning a total of $94,800. Team Salty K, fishing aboard a 78-foot Garlington and led by Capt. Keith Hilton, mate Ryan Thurner and teammates Harry Okuda, Bryan Zulka, Antonio Colorado and Ed Noonan scored 925 points from three blue marlin and one striped marlin release to place third in the tournament. Salty K added a second-place Overall Release Points Jackpot to win a total of $48,900.Team La Chingona, a 46-foot Viking with Capt. Antonio Bojorquez, mate Luis Gonzales and teammates Milinda Smith, Richard Bradbury Jr., Jeff Zimmerman, Kirk Russell, Sergio Aviles Cota and Marcos Aviles Cota started the tournament in a big way weighing a 349-black marlin caught by Cota to win the Day One Daily Marlin Jackpots and third-place Overall Marlin Jackpots, winning a nice check for $189,810. Team Stella June, a 46-foot Jarrett Bay with Capt. Evan Salvay, mate Darian Silva and teammates Ivan Van Ortwick, Jakob Gonterman, Jazz Moorhead, Hugo Pino and Paco Ruis landed a 389-pound black marlin on the second day, caught by Moorhead. The team earned second-place Overall Marlin Jackpots of $80,190.
The Los Cabos Billfish Tournament is just one of the big-game tournaments in the Bonnier portfolio, which also includes the Bermuda Triple Crown, Scrub Island Invitational and Costa Offshore World Championship.
About Bonnier: Bonnier is an outdoor adventure company that fuels passion for fishing, boating, sailing, motorsports, hunting and travel. Bonnier has the nation’s leading portfolio of experiential events and iconic media brands in the marine category and an extensive series of nationwide motorsports and hunting events. Bonnier is the publisher of Salt Water Sportsman, Marlin, Sport Fishing, Boating, Yachting, Cruising World and Sailing World, produces the award-winning TV series SFTV, and hosts world-class fishing tournaments, sailing regattas and educational events across the US and in Mexico, Bermuda, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Australia and the Virgin Islands. Bonnier is owned by Sweden-based Bonnier AB, a globally operating conglomerate with more than 200 years in publishing.
In April 1982, the inaugural issue of Marlin was published, dedicated to the idea of “establishing in the eyes of the world that billfishing is the greatest sport in the world today.” Four decades later, the “magazine for the billfisherman” is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Marlin was launched in the spring of 1982 by Bill McLellan and Lee Stevens. The publication aimed to be a prestigious voice within the global offshore fishing community. By any measure, it has achieved that status. Today, Marlin is part of Bonnier Corp’s extensive fishing media and event portfolio which includes Salt Water Sportsman, Sport Fishing, Offshore World, Salt Water Sportsman Seminar Series, Offshore World Championship, Bermuda Triple Crown, Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, and Scrub Island Invitational. Forty years later, Marlin continues to provide the same high-quality content that offshore fishing enthusiasts have come to expect.
While it began as a quarterly, Marlin is now published seven times per year. It also has an educational component, Marlin University, an immersive, on-the-water classroom where world-class anglers teach the most exciting and cutting-edge techniques to catch billfish.
The brand will celebrate its anniversary throughout 2022, including a feature story about the magazine’s history in the February issue.
“I’m proud to continue the legacy of this brand with such a great history as we head into 2022 and beyond,” says editor-in-chief Sam White.
The magazine is not the only notable anniversary that Marlin is commemorating. Publisher Natasha Lloyd recently celebrated her 25th year with the brand.