Sporting News Mag Goes Monthly

By Steve Smith

As sports fans move to the real time reporting of the Internet to get their fix, so too has Sporting News. The venerable title is celebrating its 125th year in print, and does so by pulling its hard copy publishing schedule back from bi-weekly to monthly. The publication announced this week it would go to once a month beginning with the November 7 issue. It is merging with the Sporting News Yearbooks brand, but retains Sporting News as its title. The editorial content will shift towards sports previewing, focusing on pro, college and fantasy sports.

Jeff Price, president and publisher of the title says that the decision to change course was informed by the popularity of digital, the challenged marketplace for print and the ways in which sports fans now want to engage sports content. “After thoughtful analysis of current marketplace conditions for print magazines and taking into consideration the way sports fans consume sports content in a digital age, we’ve decided to merge our two print businesses,” he says. According to PIB figures for the first half of 2011, Sporting News was down 11.7% in ad pages from the same period in 2010 and down 12.4% in estimated revenue from ad sales.

The pull back in print comes on the heels of dramatic growth in Sporting News’s digital business. In March, the company took over sports information duties for AOL, causing a massive increase in overall digital traffic to A customizable iPad app also launched in the last month.