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Sporting News prints final magazine after 126 years; web site still continues

It was inevitable.

After the 126 years, The Sporting News is printing its last magazine. One of the great traditions in sports is yet another casualty of the modern news era.

The Sporting News, though, isn’t going away. It still will exist at Sportingnews.com.

Here is the official statement from publisher Jeff Price and editor Garry Howard.

After 126 years of printing ink on paper with weekly, biweekly or monthly frequency, Sporting News will officially become a digital brand as of January 1, 2013. Based on interest expressed by a number of longtime readers, Sporting News will continue to print six highly popular, sport-specific yearbook previews in 2013—Baseball, NFL, College Football and College Basketball plus Fantasy Football and Fantasy Baseball—that will be available at newsstands across the country.

Having spoken with many of our longtime subscribers, we recognize this is not a popular decision among our most loyal fans. Unfortunately, neither our subscriber base nor the current advertising market for print would allow us to operate a profitable print business going forward.

Howard added:

“Sporting News is very much alive in the digital sports world, publishing a free daily sports App that is dynamic in nature and one of the leaders in its category on the iPad, in addition to our 24/7 web site, sportingnews.com.

“Yes, it’s a new day for Sporting News, but one that is looking toward the future and one that will help our brand reach more avid readers than ever before in its storied history.”


It’s been a while since many people thought of The Sporting News as a magazine, which is why that vehicle is fading away. It follows the lead of Newsweek, which also is ceasing its print publication.

Yet news of The Sporting News’ print demise had many of us veterans feeling nostalgic today:

@TimGrierson Reading the Sporting News as a kid made me the baseball fan I am today. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels that way.

The Sporting News was huge when I was coming of sports age in the 70s. Unlike the glossy Sports Illustrated, with its long articles, The Sporting News felt and read like a newspaper. Back then, the magazine still had its tradition of printing the boxscore of every baseball game. I mean, every game. I’m not sure I spent much time pouring over them, but it was something to see it all there on several pages.

The Sporting News featured columnists from other towns such as Furman Bisher from Atlanta and Art Spander from San Francisco. Later, they became friends in the profession.

The Sporting News also had Jack Craig, the first sports media columnist for the Boston Globe. For many of us, it was our introduction and eventually inspiration to cover this beat.

I had one of my greatest thrills in college when The Sporting News printed my story on the Illinois basketball team in 1981. I knew I had arrived. Later when I joined the Chicago Tribune, I wrote several pieces on college football for the magazine. I always felt it was an honor to see my byline in The Sporting News.

Time marches on, and The Sporting News is making its presence felt with its web site. It makes sense to pour all of its resources into that department.

But for those of us who grew up waiting for the magazine to land in the mail box, we owe a debt of gratitude to The Sporting News. A truly great institution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Sporting News prints final magazine after 126 years; web site still continues

  1. Sad day indeed. I would wait for the paper to arrive because you always could see what was going on with our teams, as well as checking out the farm systems of all MLB teams.

  2. TSN had a circulation of half a million in 2011. They’re still producing the copy. Why don’t they just go back to printing a tabloid for the hardcore readers? My printing company would be glad to take the job. Call 712-732-4991.

  3. Before the internet, The Sporting News was one of the few ways you could get indepth info on other teams across the country. It was really the national sports newspaper and I’m talking about the days when it was printed on newsprint. It tried to get “classy” with the slick print, but it never seemed to be the same when it tried to upgrade.

    • I have a collection of TSN (The Sporting News) from 1936 through February 2012 (missing January 2012). Were there any print issues after February, 2012? If so, how may I obtain them. The new Sporting News office had no information for me. They only had information on the new digital issues which I have no interest in obtaining.

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