Fore! folded as Emap consolidates golf titles

Emap Active has closed Fore! magazine and folded it into its sister title Today’s Golfer, in a move designed to stop the publisher competing with itself and free up extra cash for brand development.

Emap Active has closed Fore! magazine and folded it into its sister

title Today’s Golfer, in a move designed to stop the publisher competing

with itself and free up extra cash for brand development.



Last week’s ABCs revealed sales of Fore!, which has struggled to boost

circulation for some years, had fallen by 21.2 per cent in 1999, from

over 60,000 to around 48,000.



With a cover price of pounds 2.40 and a healthy ratio of display

advertising, the magazine is still ’very profitable’, according to

publisher Ed Beale, but he was confident that now was the time to merge

the titles before their position weakened.



Fore! advertisement manager Sue Gilbert has left the company following

the announcement, but Beale stressed she quit of her own volition and

has already found another role.



All other advertising staff will stay with the merged magazine and Sam

Marsh remains advertisement director for the group of titles. The

editorial staff have all been allocated new positions, either on the

merged title or on the development of a Today’s Golfer website, due to

be launched in the summer.



’We don’t want to keep competing with ourselves,’ said Beale. ’We could

probably run Fore! for another ten or 20 years but it makes more sense

to channel all the resources into one brand.



’We are not really closing one magazine here,’ he added, ’we are closing

two. When readers pick up Today’s Golfer they will obviously still get

some of the equity of the old title, but this is a completely new

product we are developing. By doing this we also free up resources to

focus on marketing one great title.’



Dave Clarke, previously editor of the other golf title in Emap’s

portfolio Golf World, said: ’This reflects Emap’s recent restructuring,

which is designed to concentrate networks on developing multi-media

brands across specific markets.’



Brand extensions will include the new website, a network of registered

teaching professionals, an award scheme and eventually a digital TV

programme.



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