ESPN Will Shut Down its Flagship Magazine

From Brian Steinberg at Variety:

Editorial staffers are expected to stay with the company, says the person familiar with the situation. Most were already working for other parts of ESPN’s digital-media operations. A “handful” of employees responsible for print production could be affected, but a determination on possible layoffs has yet to be reached this person said. ESPN intends to continue publishing big magazine-type features with high-end photography online.

The magazine’s demise serves as another reminder of how the rise of digital media has affected once-stalwart print properties. When ESPN launched its magazine in the late 1990s, it was seen as a move to counter the influence of Sports Illustrated, the powerhouse publication from Time Inc. These days, Sports Illustrated is part of Meredith Corp., and has been on the sales block for months.

That’s really unfortunate to hear. However, I suppose the silver lining here is that Disney is migrating (most of) their staffers to their digital department. I mean, if the New York Times can post a profit on the digital subscription model, ESPN Magazine can do it too.

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