SBD/5/Sports Media

INSIDE SPORTS ON THE OUTSIDE FOLLOWING PETERSEN PURCHASE

          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). 

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