Golf World Goes All-Digital
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/24/14

You *could* say this was inevitable.

The mass media conglomerate Condé Nast announced on Wednesday that, after 67 years, Golf World will stop publishing a printed magazine and become all-digital. The final edition, mailed to subscribers this week, featured Rory McIlroy and his victory at the 143rd Open Championship.

Golf World had been published 31 times per year, with a circulation of 213,387. The magazine would typically arrive in mail boxes on Thursdays or Fridays — or even on Saturdays in far-flung locations. Starting immediately, the digital version will be distributed 50 times per year on Monday mornings at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Four factors very likely drove this decision:
  1. An overall contraction in the golf industry, driven largely by a sour economy;

  2. The ubiquitous presence of web access, including on mobile devices;

  3. The inherent costs of magazine printing and mailing;

  4. Time and effort by staff spent reviewing the print layout.

A Condé Nast spokewoman said that the staff of Golf World and Golf Digest will be combined. Golf World Editor-in-Chief Jaime Diaz keeps his job and job title, reporting to longtime Golf Digest Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde. However, ten staffers will lose their jobs.

This has been gradually happening over the last five decades. The first watershed event was the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Some people would go stand in front of their local newspaper building, waiting for the next special edition to come off the presses. But more people tuned to radio and television.

In the intervening decades, numerous newspapers large and small have closed forever. Even the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is now online-only and no longer in print. Very few magazine start-ups last more than two or three years. Increased access to the internet — especially mobile access — is "fueling the fire" even more.

Press release

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Image via Golf World

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