For Sale: Cycle World, project or parts

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cycle_world.jpg.jpegAmerica’s most widely circulated motorcycle magazine, Cycle World, has been placed on sale by its publisher, Hachette Filipacchi Media. Hachette has been struggling to keep up with current market forces, largely neglecting the Internet while big name titles like Cycle World and Popular Photography (also for sale) shed readers. Ad pages in Cycle World decreased 30% between 2005 and the end of 2008 and are down a further 18% between January and April, 2009. At this point, the magazine’s future is unclear, but it’s possible that this could be the beginning of the end for the storied publication or at least the beginning of a much slimmer future, if it finds a buyer.
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It’s currently unclear what price is being asked for Cycle World or if
it’s available individually or as part of an enthusiast title package
along with Popular Photography, American Photo, Boating, Flying and
Sound & Vision.

News of the sale broke today through the Delaney Report, but it appears
the titles have been quietly shopped around potential buyers for
several weeks without any luck.

If you have any further info or are a Hachette employee in need of a new job, email us. Your anonymity is guaranteed.

via Ad Age

  • Mike

    I have had a subscription to Cycle World for 30 years. Sad to read that it has gotten to such a low point, but it isn’t a surprise. Kevin Cameron’s and Peter Egan’s columns and stories are the only reason I continue to get it. The magazine is so PC and lame that it has become b-o-r-i-n-g. They don’t have enough backbone to hammer a crappy product, ie. tell the truth.

    A few new editors (crusty old Paul Dean and his minions should retire) and a reformat would do wonders.

    Good luck CW.

  • Mitch

    It is shocking to see the decline in automotive (cycle and car) and gaming magazines here, and the sterling quality and eye-popping content of those same kind of publications over in the UK. Seriously, it’s like art there; here it’s toilet material.

  • Hans

    I live in Europe and I have subscribed to Cycle World the last couple of years, hoping it would offer a fresh point of view and contemporary layout and design, just like I remember CW doing in the 80′s. I somehow always ended up buying an additional TWO or Bike magazine. They give a much fresher and critical perspective, feature a contemporary design and great photography and I dont have to read about irrelevant custom bike.

  • http://artistruth.livejournal.com will

    The Brits know how to write, not just critically, but write borderline-pornographic narrative about the dynamics of a bike. Or car, for that matter. It’s worse with American car magazines.

  • Tomas

    BIKE may be little trendy, CW little boring, but at the end, guys, always solid like a rock. I would miss it very much.

  • Ben

    While I will definitely miss CW if it goes away, I agree with most of the comments above. The articles that stray furthest from the “latest news” and all that are the best parts of the mag – and the other American magazines.

    Frankly, I just wish they would learn their role and get off of the “this just in” horse, which the Internet does a much better job of, and put subscriber funding to work for something that industry websites fail to provide – quality (and comparative) reviews of motorcycle products.

    I go out and pay $10 a pop for random UK publications to get the kinds of content that I simply don’t get from any of the US mags. Motorcycle Consumer News comes close, but even that’s not where I’d like it to be. There are so many products out there with barely anything but anecdotal reviews. Bleh.

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    All the magazines are going down. The fact that Hachette has blown off the web just points out why all of the magazines are failing. I’ve designed four magazine websites in the last two years and all of them are outperforming their print counterparts in every metric (readership, advertising sales, etc.).

    Hachette is just stupid for being so stubborn, thus they probably deserve to go out of businees, just like HD and all the other dinosaurs.

    It would also help if Cycle World’s product were worth the subscription price. Yeah the editorials have their charm, and the reviews are generally pretty informative, but if you compare CW to the other US motorcycle magazine, it’s not unique and has nothing out of the box that makes me choose it over the others.

    On top of that, the UK moto mags (BIKE, T.W.O., etc.) are vastly superior in every way: the writing, the design, the photography, the reviews, the comparisons, the tech info, the unique sections… the only thing they’re missing is US market information, and you can get that online.

  • geonerd

    Primedia websites like Motorcyclist and Sport Rider make CW’s web content look incredible. I imagine both mags will soon be up for sale, if they aren’t already.

  • Jared

    I have subscribed to CW for several years now, and have always felt that most state-side motorcycle magazine’s websites have been sorely lacking. Their format is simply regurgitated print edition material that comes out even later than the hard copy does. I enjoy the editorials and responses to writer’s questions, but they have no backbone when it comes to products. I’ve read CW articles from back before I was born, and the newer articles make it sound as if motorcycles have no problems and are all worth purchasing. Where are the scathing reviews? Are they so afraid to lose ad dollars that they won’t be honest with their readers?
    CW is catching flak right now, but GEONERD is right that the Primedia websites suck. Keep up the good work, HfL; we need it!

  • edward

    No doubt UK bike mags are streets ahead of the US products and the price reflects it too.But I am amazed that the UK can support their mags. In olden times, Cycle was as good as the Brits with Bob Greene (I think) a very readable fellow. John Burns is equally good but he is now free lance since he got the boot at Motorcyclist while they should haved booted the editor and his right wing fixation. . The only advantage of the home grown product, is they are dirt cheap by comparison.