Time Inc has announced it is to cease publication of two monthly cycling magazines and pour additional resources into its flagship cycling publication Cycling Weekly.
Cycling Active and Cycling Sport are to be closed, with the loss of nine editorial jobs, despite healthy circulation figures. The announcement follows the closure of the quarterly Cycling Fitness magazine earlier this year, leaving Cycling Weekly as Time Inc’s only dedicated cycling magazine.
The move has left many cycling pundits confused with un-named source telling Press Gazette: “A lot of people in the cycling media are wondering why Time can’t make a success of magazines about cycling when it is one of the most booming recreational sports at the moment.”
More than 2 million people take to their bikes every day in the UK and Halfords, Britain’s biggest bike seller, reported an 11% increase in sales last year.
And the sport isn’t short of personalities. Athletes like Sir Bradly Wigins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish, Laura Trott and Victoria Pendleton (who is now forging a successful horse racing career) pedalling their way to become household names and national treasures.
It might seem a little bewildering that an organisation like Time Inc is closing down magazines when the sport is enjoying such a renaissance but there is definitely method in their madness.
Time Inc have been quick to defend their decision with Steve Prentice, Time’s managing director of cycling stating: “We will be sad to say goodbye to Cycling Active and Cycle Sport, but this decision will allow us to play to our strengths and focus on what our consumers really want.”
And it seems like Cycling Week have their finger on the pulse of the cycling community, pouring additional resources into digital, video and live events and experiences.
Magazines can no longer rely on print subscriptions and advertising to pay the bills. The consolidation of Time Inc’s cycling resources into one title makes a lot of sense if the organisation is to capitalise on a growing opportunity.
In years to come, the print edition of Cycling Week will just be a cog in much larger wheel, creating an inclusive brand synonymous with the sport.