Perhaps the biggest casualty of the home nations’ football teams’ failure to qualify for the finals of Euro 2008 is the 40-year-old magazine, Shoot, which is to close at the end of the month.
IPC, the magazine owners, broke the news to staff this morning.
Publication will cease on June 30, barely four months after IPC switched Shoot‘s publication frequency in the face of on-going competition from Peterborough-based Match and the BBC’s re-launched Match of the Day.
The change saw the magazine pitched at a younger, children’s audience, and return to weekly publication, but this failed to revive the title’s sales.
Paul Williams, managing director of IPC Inspire, said: “We are, of course, in consultation with the six permanent staff directly affected by the proposal, and every effort will be made to find alternative jobs if this becomes necessary.”
IPC switched the magazine’s frequency in February in an attempt to meet the challenge of Match of the Day – the magazine title resurrected despite the BBC losing its Premiership football rights.
“It has come more as a disappointment than a shock,” an insider told sportsjournalists.co.uk. “It has been a great team over the years and we will be sorry to say goodbye to guys and girls we have worked with over many years.”
Subsidiary IPC Inspire is in negotiations to sell the Shoot trademark to Pedigree Books, which publishes the Shoot annual and a range of Shoot seasonal activity books.
Launched in 1969, when it enjoyed a monopoly in its market, at the height of the magazine’s sale in the 1970s, Shoot was selling 300,000 copies each week. Shoot sold an average of 35,830 copies as a Â£3.10 monthly in the second half of 2007.
Match, owned by Bauer Consumer Media, formerly Emap, had a circulation of 113,049 in the second half of 2007, a year-on-year fall of 13 per cent. A new title, Kick!, published by the Attic Media Network and selling at Â£2.20, grew its sale by 24 per cent year on year to 62,290 in the same period.
World Soccer, IPC’s other football title, is to continue publishing, and some of Shoot’s staff may be redeployed there.
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