“ESPN the Magazine” Will Stop Publishing Within the Year
Publication will cease in September
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ESPN is sending ESPN the Magazine to the bench, permanently.
Sports Business Daily is reporting the Worldwide Leader will stop publishing the print version of its magazine in September, ending more than two decades of publication. The report comes after staffers were told this the magazine would be shuttered as part of a reorganization of ESPN’s Original Content department.
While it’s bad news for fans of the magazine, it’s good news for staffers as ESPN claims the move will not involve any layoffs and that the magazine’s employees will be integrated across the brand’s other platforms.
In a statement emailed to SBD, ESPN wrote: “Consumer habits are evolving rapidly, and this requires ESPN to evolve as well. The only change here is that we are moving away from printing it on paper and sending it in the mail. … Our data shows the vast majority of readers already consume our print journalism on digital platforms, and this approach will maximize our reach and impact.”
Though it won’t publish on a monthly basis any longer, ESPN is leaving the door open to continuing to publish print versions of special issues — like the “Body Issue” — moving forward.
Launched in March of 1998, ESPN the Magazine always stood out from its peers thanks to its extra-large pages and blend of sports-related pop culture content.
Sources told SBD the publication had been losing money for several years and was not close to a “break-even proposition” at this point.
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