Even as a child, EN publisher John Thier refused to settle for just one piece of the pie.
“One piece of pie?” laughs John’s mother, who recently sat down with us for an exclusive interview. “For John, it was always the whole pie or nothing. He couldn’t stop; he didn’t know when to say when. He’d eat his pie, and then he’d steal a piece from the kid sitting next to him. If you had a pie in the house, it would just disappear. And then he moved on to cake. All the cake for John, no cake for anyone else — that was his motto. By age 10, he weighed almost 200 pounds.”
In time, John shed the weight but he never did lose his pathological appetite for power. His mother continues: “When John launched Eventing Nation in 2009, I could already see what was coming down the pike. I knew he would never settle for just one horse website. Eventually, he would want ALL the horse websites. It’s just the way he is.”
For a while, the young publisher seemed content with his pet project Eventing Nation. But eventually he grew restless, launching sister sites Sport Horse Nation and Horse Nation under the Nation Media banner. Once an annoyingly constant presence on EN, when John’s byline vanished a couple years ago, even his staff began to wonder what was going on. “John who?” deadpanned one longtime EN writer, Visionaire, shrugging. “I don’t know where that guy is or what he’s been doing. Frankly, I don’t even want to know.” Editor Jenni Autry agreed, describing him as a “loose cannon.”
Late yesterday evening, however, John re-emerged from self-imposed exile via a top-secret webcam press conference.
The press conference was interrupted at minute 47:51 by a woman’s voice screaming, “John, your grilled cheese is getting cold!” prompting suspicions that he is in fact living in his mother’s basement.
“They say journalism is dead,” John announced to the three or four people who showed up at his virtual press conference out of sheer boredom. “I say, let them eat cake. JUST KIDDING — I ALREADY ATE ALL THE CAKE MYSELF.” John went on to unveil his plan for a massive equestrian media conglomerate the likes of which the horse world has never seen, rolling out a roster of “unique new equestrian publications,” among them …
… as well as Horse & Dog, Eastern Horseman, Ekwess, the Horse Chronicle and a podcast called Horses in Mourning.
The announcement immediately sparked outrage in the equestrian publishing community.
“The Horse Chronicle … are you kidding me?” COTH‘s attorney exclaimed when pressed for a comment. “This is a clear and blatant copyright law violation. The website is a badly photoshopped replica, and the text is lifted straight from the Chronicle but ‘disguised’ in Pig Latin.”
Screenshot from TheHorseChronicle.com:
“Whatever,” John responded. “I’ve never even heard of — who did the attorney say he worked for? — this so-called Chronicle of the Horse, so how could I be copying them? For all we know, they’re copying me.”
What’s the next rung on John’s ladder of success? John’s mother says, “Well first things first, he probably needs to hire a good lawyer.”
We’ll keep you posted.