INSIDE SPORTS ON THE OUTSIDE FOLLOWING PETERSEN PURCHASE
Published June 5, 1998
The July issue of Inside Sports "will be its last," according to Keith Kelly of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. IL-based Century Publishing is selling the book to CA-based Petersen Publishing, which "will shut down the title and offer paid subscribers its own" Sport magazine. Kelly's industry sources estimate the deal at $8M. A "last-minute effort" by Inside Sports Publisher Jerry Croft "to lead a management buyout" was unsuccessful. Kelly reports that about 20 people "are out of work" as a result of the shutdown. Inside Sports' circulation was up 2% in the second half of '97, at 751,151, while Sport's circulation was down 4.1% to 751,968. Century Chair Norman Jacobs, on the reason for the sale: "I heard that Disney/Hearst were willing to spend $50 to $100 million on ESPN [Magazine] to go up against Sports Illustrated. ... Petersen had a very nice offer on the table -- and I decided it was time to let the big boys slug it out" (Keith Kelly, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/5). In Chicago, Tim Jones writes that the sale "marks the first bloodshed in a sports magazine war redefined in March" with the launch of ESPN Magazine (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/5).