Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Another women's sports magazine dies

Conde Nast announced yesterday that its Golf for Women magazine will cease publication after this month. The magazine, launched in 1988, was purchased by CN in 2001. The publisher also shuttered Women's Sports & Fitness in 2000 after purchasing it and relaunching it during the late 1990s.
Golf for Women and Women's Sports & Fitness both had respectable circulations -- around 600,000, the same rate base as that of The Sporting News. So, what's the problem? As with other women's sports titles that have come and gone (such as SI for Women) -- it's identity and advertising. These magazines struggle for positioning satisfactory to advertisers. For instance, should they focus solely on competitive sports (think SI, ESPN magazines), participatory sports (think Runner's World) that are often popular among women, or beauty-focused fitness (think Shape)?
SI for Women and WSF both waffled before they finally ceased publication, and it's been interesting to see the evolution of HerSports, perhaps the newest general-interest sports title for women. Finding the formula that will attract the ad dollar has so far proven elusive for many women's sports titles.


Megan H said...

I completely agree with you. Advertising and identity are behind the lack of magazines. I think the solution is in the blogosphere, where advertising is not necessary and information can go viral within seconds. The power is in the reader.


Anonymous said...

Point of information. I think the original 'Women's Sports and Fitness' founded as 'Women's Sports' in 1974 by Billy Jean King, folded in 1998. Conde Nast's magazine which was founded as 'Sports for Women' in 1997 took it over and appropriated its name for its continued publication before itself folding. Katharine