The Sporting News, the once-venerable print publication, will no longer be in print as of January 1, 2013 and will exclusively be an online entity on the AOL Fanhouse network of sites.
In their letter to readers, Editor-In-Chief Garry Howard and publisher Jeff Price wrote that, after 126 years, the publication described as the “wise old man of sports journalism” realized it could not make a profit in print anymore:
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.
Like many legacy media entities, The Sporting News once had a monopoly on much of the news from the sports world, especially in baseball. But with the rise of new media, it lost its dominance and was no longer the sole gatekeeper of information. This same creative destruction is occurring in the news and political media landscapes, as publications like Newsweek will also cease publishing in print.
The Sporting News will publish “yearbooks for baseball, NFL football, college football and fantasy leagues” that will also be available on newsstands.
Matt Hayes, a reporter at the publication, tweeted the magazine’s final cover, which features Alabama Quarterback A.J. McCarron and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o in addition to the mascots for their respective football programs. Alabama and Notre Dame, two blue-blood college football powerhouses, will battle for college football’s BCS title on January 7. The headline, which could also aptly describe the publication, reads, “An American Classic.”
— Matt Hayes(@Matt_HayesSN) December 11, 2012