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