Before we go any further, our thoughts go out to the 170-plus affected by job cuts at Future. We don’t know who that affects or even if it affects the cycle titles now at Immediate, but nevertheless it’s obviously not news that anyone relishes hearing.
(UPDATE: Immediate has stated it expects approximately 130 staff to transfer.)
Future has been a powerhouse in the world of cycle publishing, from growing titles from the ground up like Cycling Plus to cannily acquiring rivals and incorporating them like Cyclingnews.com. And that’s not mentioning all the many bike shows it has been part of and launched over the years.
Then there’s all the staff that have passed through the corridors of Future who have gone on to work (and launch) rival cycle publications and websites, media agencies…the list goes on.
In short, it’s unthinkable to imagine the UK cycle media and show business – and indeed the cycle industry in general – without Future’s influence upon it.
So seeing Future sell its cycle titles and sites to Immediate Media has sent shockwaves around the industry. Was it a surprise? We all knew that Future has been going through significant difficulties but, by our understanding, cycling was not among the struggling elements of its vast portfolio, so for many it is a shock to see BikeRadar, et all, move on.
In the meantime we’ll bid farewell to Future and welcome to Immediate’s now hugely grown cycling portfolio.
Doubtless the trade – particularly PR and marketing teams and journalists alike – will keenly look forward to see how the transition is managed. Then further down the line we’ll be getting to grips with how having fewer publishers will affect the cycle market.
And can we foresee further consolidation ahead in the cycle media world? Or, possibly more likely, is the story of Future selling its entire cycle portfolio the final part of a tale that is particular to Future? Time will tell.