ESPN TO ENTER WEEKLY MAGAZINE MARKET AND COMPETE WITH SI
Published October 22, 1996
Walt Disney, Hearst Corp. and Petersen Publishing Co. are "discussing a partnership" that would combine their "considerable clout" to launch a weekly, ESPN-branded competitor to SI next year, according to Donaton & Ross in ADVERTISING AGE. The "venture" would merge ESPN Total Sports, a "joint venture" of ESPN's Disney and Hearst, with Petersen's monthly, Sport, to form ESPN Sports Weekly. Petersen would be the alliance's general partner. In a "twist sure to turn heads in the publishing world," the deal would put Petersen Chair & CEO Claeys Bahrenburg "back in business" with Hearst, "a year after he was removed as president of its magazine division." An deal on ESPN Sports Weekly "could come as soon as next spring," with a fall '97 debut. Targeted circulation is under 2 million, compared to SI's nearly 3.4 million (ADVERTISING AGE, 10/21 issue). SI KIDS HITS THE AIRWAVES? Sources tell ELECTRONIC MEDIA that CBS' Eyemark Entertainment is near a deal to develop a TV project around SI For Kids. A weekly series based on the magazine is "likely," while a group of specials is also a "possibility" (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/21 issue).