The publisher of Sporting News, Jeff Price, today announced that after 126 years the title would be shuttering its print publication on January 1. To reach its current readers the sports publication will rely on its mobile and tablet applications, as well as the sportingnews.com website.
"Having spoken with many of our longtime subscribers, we recognize this is not a popular decision among our most loyal fans," wrote Jeff Price and Garry D. Howard on the Sporting News website this morning. "Unfortunately, neither our subscriber base nor the current advertising market for print would allow us to operate a profitable print business going forward."
The move is a logical one as the sports news publication has become tied to AOL since last year. The once weekly publications went to bi-weekly in 2008.
In early 2010 Jeff Price came over from Sports Illustrated where he was head of digital. In an interview with TNM in May Price talked through the paper's options concerning publishing on the iPad>
"Part of the struggle that's going on right now in the industry is trying to force fit what your current business model is into this new platform," Price said in 2010. "If we were taking that approach we would have started with Sporting News magazine and said 'OK, we're going to put all our energy behind Sporting News magazine and we're going to translate that over to the iPad.'"
Sporting News at the time was publishing a daily digital flipbook on its website called Sporting News Today. Then in September of 2010 Zinio released a branded iPad app for the daily publication. Eventually a tablet edition reached the Apple Newsstand, where Sporting News still resides.
Existing print subscribers can contact the publisher to get a refund of their balance, or they can apply their paid subscription to the cost of the yearbooks the publication says they will continue to produce in print, at least for now. "In the event we cease publication of the yearbook previews, any balance left on your account will be refunded," Sporting News said.