The title is up for sale. It was offered to the editorial and sales team to run themselves but editor Guy Andrews, assistant editor Caroline Griffiths, and ad executive Mike Jackson opted to take redundancy.
Cycling Today was founded as New Cyclist and published by Jim McGurn and Alan Davidson. They later sold the title to Stonehart who themselves sold the title on the Yachting Press four years ago. Stonehart raised the subscriber total to 11 000 thanks to almost-giving-it-away deals and freebies but this slumped to 2000 under Yachting Press (mind you they didn’t inherit 11 000 subscribers because Stonehart were never able to secure enough subscribers willing to pay the full price after their subsidised year was up).
Andrews blames the ultra-competitive cycling magazine market, plus the difficulty in getting the newsagent chains like WHSmiths to commit to stocking ‘niche’ magazines.
While larger publishers can get a range of their publications in as a ‘take a niche mag for every popular magazine’ kind of deal, smaller publishers have a harder time of it.
"It’s the end of the independent publisher," believes Andrews.
He is planning on staying in the cycling industry, though says he would rather avoid the stress of editing a monthly print publication.
The closure/suspension/sale wasn’t unexpected, said Andrews, and those working on the magazine had been kept fully in the picture.
The closure won’t be much of a shock to the industry. It has been obvious for some time that at least two or three magazines would soon be on the way out. The UK cycle magazine market has had an over-supply problem for many years, making it difficult for suppliers and IBDs to know where to place their adverts for the greatest yield.
A press officer for an international components supplier read this story and emailed with this comment:
"I see my press database shrinking like hell for the UK part… Amazing. That’s
the only country where such thing happens."
So, rather than this being a failure in the bike market perhaps it should be viewed as natural wastage? Cycling Today is (was?) a good a mag but with a lot of good mags out there, not all are going to survive.