SBD/April 6, 2012/Media

NFL Announces Draft/April Issue Will Be Final One Published By League's Magazine

NFL said it has no immediate plans to pursue a traditional magazine
NFL Magazine is shutting down after only four issues, and the Draft/April issue will be the final one published. The NFL launched the magazine in December, promising an insider's perspective and hiring CBS' Boomer Esiason and NFL reporter Andrea Kremer as regular contributors. However, it appears the league ran into problems with the magazine's publisher Dauphin Media Group. NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said the league is "ending its partnership with Dauphin," and is considering whether to continue to venture with another publisher. McCarthy indicated that the NFL has been contacted by "hitters in the publishing biz and is evaluating print strategy." He added that the league has "no immediate plans to pursue a traditional mag." The league has pledged to refund any money owed to subscribers for issues they will not receive. It also is committed to paying contributors for stories they worked on that may not be published (John Ourand, THE DAILY). In N.Y., Keith Kelly writes eyebrows were "raised late last year when NFL Enterprises picked tiny Dauphin Media Group, which already had a spotty record of publishing magazines out of its base in Vancouver, Canada." The magazine was "said to be aiming for a circulation" of 400,000 with an annual subscription price of $19.99. Dauphin Media CEO Mike Dunphy, "after contacting us earlier in the week to assure us that all was well at the NFL Magazine, did not return a call to his cell phone yesterday seeking comment" (N.Y. POST, 4/6). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio wrote it is a "very rare failure for a league that is used to having everything it touches turn to gold." However, this development is "not a surprise." The choice of Dauphin was "described as 'odd' by AdWeek.com and having a 'shaky track record.'" The "only other magazine produced by the company, Holmes Magazine, went belly up last year" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 4/5).

JOINT PUBLISHING EFFORT: In L.A., David Sarno noted five of the "largest magazine publishers -- Time Inc., Conde Nast, Hearst Corp., News Corp. and Meredith Corp. -- jointly released a tablet computer application Wednesday that offers owners of Android-based tablets unlimited access" to 32 of the country's most popular magazines for $14.99 a month. Among the magazines "packaged for the single price are Time, Sports Illustrated, People, the New Yorker, Better Homes and Garden, Car and Driver, Esquire, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and Entertainment Weekly." The publishers will "divvy up the subscription revenue based on which titles users are reading." If a reader "spends half his time on the app with Sports Illustrated and half with the New Yorker, the revenue will be roughly divided between Time Inc. and Conde Nast, the respective publishers of those titles" (L.A. TIMES, 4/5).
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