Free weekly magazine Sport to close after next issue

Sport magazine is set to close after more than ten years, with next week’s issue to be the last.

More than 306,000 copies of the free weekly title are distributed nationwide, according to the latest ABC figures, at Tube and train stations across London, sport centres, hotels and universities.

A team of 14 staff, understood to be predominantly editorial, are affected by the closure which is believed to have come about as News UK focuses efforts on audio and digital Wireless Group brands such as Talksport radio.

The announcement, made today on the magazine’s Twitter page, comes four months after former owners Wireless Group were bought out by News UK, publishers of The Sun and The Times.

Last month, Dennis Publishing made the decision to stop printing free magazine Coach but continue to publish content online, putting 15 jobs at risk as a result.

In a message signed from “the team” published on Twitter, Sport said: “We have some news, and we are very sorry to report it is sad news. Next week’s issue, number 484, will be the final issue of Sport.

“From the very first issue in September 2006, the team here – both editorial and commercial – have been proud to produce a magazine we always wanted to celebrate all that is special about sport. We love it and the aim was simply to share that passion with our readers.

“Across more than 10 years and more than 480 issues, we hope we have done that. It has been a privilege and a joy from the first issue to the last, and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way – from Thierry Henry, who graced our first cover all those years ago, to the many hardy distributors who have braved more than a few cold, wet and windy Friday mornings to deliver our labours of love into people’s hands.

“Most of all, we would like to thank our readers. We couldn’t have done it without you, and for that we owe you a whole lot. We hope you enjoy our final issue, and we hope your passion for sport is as great as it was. Ours certainly is.”

Scott Taunton, chief executive of Wireless Group, said: “Our thanks go to the editor Tony Hodson and his team who have made Sport magazine so popular with its readers. We look forward to them producing a cracking final issue.”

In 2012 then editor of Sport Simon Caney told Press Gazette that in both 2010 and 2011 the title returned a profit of around £1m on turnover of around £4m. At the time had an editorial team of 12.

Sport was launched in 2006 by a French company and then taken over by Wireless Group in 2009 to compliment its radio station Talksport.

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