Monday, October 17, 2011

The next step

Way back in 2008, I wrote a blog about how The Sporting News was going to a biweekly format, and wondered about the publication's future.

Now three years later, I'm looking pretty good.

The digital publication mentioned didn't last long, at least in that incarnation. And the biweekly version has stopped publishing. It will go to a monthly now, merging with its preview magazines. I have no idea how that is going to work, and I have no idea how my subscription is going to work.

I do know that a run that dates back to the 1880's is essentially over, and there's something sad about that.

I liked what the Sporting News had been doing in the last couple of years. They had come up with a formula of providing interesting information that wasn't overly timely. There were some good features and unusual story angles. I didn't rush to read it, like I do most times for Sports Illustrated, but I liked it.

But that's over. The magazine said it plans to go back to some sort of daily format down the road in the relatively near future. That may not be a bad idea, in an age when the iPad is starting to catch on. The first time around probably was ahead of its time, and The Sporting News might become that "second read" that the National wanted to be without having to deal with the distribution problems that ruined the National about 20 years ago.

Still, I've been reading The Sporting News since 1965, and it was a thrill to write for them briefly in the late 1990's. It's not a happy time.

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