Sporting News Ends Print Run, Goes All-Digital

Dec 11, 2012

After 126 years, the nation’s oldest sports magazine, Sporting News, is ending its print edition. The Charlotte-based magazine is going all-digital.

Before Sports Illustrated, there was The Sporting News. It was the national authority on baseball. In fact, it was commonly called the Bible of Baseball in the early 20th century.

The Sporting News evolved into more than a baseball publication, but it couldn’t keep up with Sports Illustrated, or ESPN The Magazine.

And it lost ground to the Internet, says Editor Garry Howard.

“The subscription base was dwindling, and I think a lot of that had to do with people wanting their information updated now. By the time the magazine comes out, it’s almost obsolete," Howard says.

In recent years it became apparent that it was more a question of when, not if, the decision would be made to go all-digital. About five years ago it went from weekly to bi-weekly. Last year the Sporting News went monthly, and the magazine stopped taking new subscribers and encouraged readers to make the transition to digital formats.

The magazine will still print six special preview and fantasy sports editions a year, "but the magazine that we all know and love will no longer be published,” Howard says.

Instead, the Sporting News will live on through its web site and an I-Pad app.

The Sporting News moved from St. Louis to Charlotte about five years ago after it was purchased by American City Business Journals, the company that owns the Charlotte Business Journal.

The last print edition comes out Thursday, with Notre Dame and Alabama football on the cover.