SI Produces April Print Edition By Mostly Digital Means
SI editors amid the coronavirus outbreak have been "tasked with piecing together a print product that would still feel fresh and relevant amid a storm that picked up the sports industry, as it had all others, twirled it around and plopped it back to ground," according to Sara Jerde of ADWEEK. For the upcoming April issue, the cover is "devoted to a powerful image that shows empty stadium seating, without much text, letting the image speak for the situation," while inside, readers will "find stories related to the virus, like a financial look at how the NBA will fare without the games as a revenue source and how the virus brought audiences and athletes closer together." The issue will be "around a normal size at 84 pages and 13 ad pages," and came together "mostly digitally" (ADWEEK.com, 3/25).
WHAT TO DO? The FINANCIAL TIMES' Patricia Nilsson wrote The Athletic is "facing an unprecedented -- and unthinkable -- challenge: what to do given that the coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of virtually every major sports fixture across the world." The Athletic co-Founder Adam Hansmann said that he "expected revenue growth to slow over the next few months and that readership numbers had fallen in recent days." He said, “That is natural, people are trying to figure out child care or their work situation." But he added he was “cautiously optimistic” about The Athletic’s prospects, saying it had a “clear line of sight to profitability." The group, which "does not sell digital ads, has not disclosed its revenues." Last week, it said that it "would extend a free trial period for new readers from 7 to 90 days." Instead of providing coverage of the latest fixture, the sports outlet is asking readers to “find comfort and entertainment in the nostalgia, culture, and people behind the games we love" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/25).
THE HOCKEY NEWS RETURNS: TSN's Bob McKenzie this morning tweeted, "Here’s some good news at a time when we could use some: Staff laid off @TheHockeyNews last week have been recalled and are now back working." McKenzie added he is "very happy for old friends," The Hockey News' Jason Kay, Ken Campbell and Brian Costello, among others (TWITTER.com, 3/26).