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BATTLE LINES BEING DRAWN IN WAR BETWEEN SI AND ESPN MAGAZINE
Published March 10, 1998
The launch of ESPN Magazine was examined by CNN's Donald Van de Mark on "Moneyline." In her introduction, CNN's Jan Hopkins called ESPN's bi-weekly "a direct attack on Sports Illustrated, pitting two of the best brand names of sports journalism against each other." Van de Mark said SI "still dominates the business of sports journalism," pulling in $500M a year "in ad revenue alone," but starting Wednesday when ESPN Magazine debuts, SI "faces its greatest challenge yet." Newsday publishing columnist Paul Colford said that by advertising ESPN Magazine on ESPN "they've already entered the launch faze with something in the neighborhood of 300,000 subscribers." ESPN Magazine "is targeting younger customers," and ESPN Magazine Publisher Michael Rooney said, "Sports has changed. And it's not that the 18-34-year-old reader wants us to be irreverent, but he wants us to be a little more with it. He wants us to have a little more fun. It's just sports" ("Moneyline," CNN, 3/9). AD DETAILS: ESPN Magazine's debut issue will carry 107 ad pages, which industry observer/Univ. of MS professor Samir Husni said ranks sixth in all-time magazine launches and first among sports title launches. Among advertisers: Pontiac, Nike, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Nautica, adidas, AT&T, Columbia Sportswear, Ford and Nintendo (ESPN Magazine).