Cycle World sold to Hearst

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Hearst has completed the much-rumored purchase of Lagardère SCA’s international publishing wing, acquiring 102 publications in 15 countries including Cycle World, Car and Driver and Road & Track. Hearst paid $889 million in the deal, the crown jewel of which is women’s fashion title Elle (1.1 million readers a month). At 310,971 readers, Cycle World claims the largest circulation of any printed motorcycle magazine in the US. It’s unclear what ultimate fate will befall CW as a result of this sale, but rumors indicate there’s some possibility it could be repackaged with Hachette’s former automotive titles for a further sale.

Hearst via NYTimes

  • ike6116

    31,097?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      hmm, missing a zero in there

  • http://www.ClevelandCycleWerks.com scottydigital

    Hummmmm, Not sure what to make of this. Good…or bad…?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Well, the fear is that they’re such a small part of this deal that they risk being ignored entirely or sold off as part of the unwanted titles. I think Hearst primarily wanted the fashion mags as they’re still big earners and will likely keep one or both big car titles to flesh out their men’s department a bit.

      Fingers crossed for all the employees over there.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    I hope Hearst gives them more love than Hachette did.

  • David Edwards

    Kinda sad, really. When I first started working for the Hachette, there was something like 25 titles, a true consumer-publishing empire manned (and womanned) by some of the best people in the business. I always felt like I was attending an all-star affair when I went back to NYC for our semi-annual editors’ meetings. There was swagger, there was espirit de corps. Now the gutted U.S. division just sold to Hearst is down to, what, six magazines?

    Will Hearst keep Cycle World? Will it be sold off to another publishing house? Doesn’t really matter — anything is better than the last couple of years under Hachette.

    • gt1

      Yes, the past few years have been bad. I also subscribe to Car&Driver, it lost most of it’s best people.

  • Mike

    Print magazines, how do they work?

  • Archer

    Print is dead, the corpse just doesn’t know it yet.

    Wes, how many individuals subscribe to this “niche” site at this point? How many read RRW or Soup every week? I bet the numbers start approaching CW at a fraction of the overhead.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Ha, we’ve had more readers than CW for ages. Not quite up to those levels with subscribers yet, but that continues to go well.

  • Ian

    I can’t be the only one who notices that this month’s CW is, page by page, HFL from 4 weeks ago.

    Oh no! Am I the only CW subscriber here?

    • Your_Mom

      No. +1

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You mean 4 months, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate BeastIncarnate

      I’m not about to expect any print mag to post “news” that I hadn’t heard here long before. That’s just silly, no matter how high a pedestal I’d like to put HFL on.

      To be fair, this month’s CW had riding impressions on both the CCW Heist and Honda CBR250R. I still read for the rides and reviews that, for the time being, I don’t get here. Compared to this month’s Motorcyclist, CW is a lump of gold.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Well you have had a CBR250R review here:

        http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2011/01/found-the-missing-link/

        And we’ll be reviewing the CCW Misfit once the snow’s off the ground. Turned down a ride on the Heist simply because we’re not terribly excited about a hardtail, even if it is a good hardtail.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate BeastIncarnate

          Fair enough, Wes. I prefer the quality of the reviews I find here and I’m sure that quantity will come with time.

          Thanks for answering the unspoken question about the Heist. The first thing I thought on seeing that CW article was, “How the hell did they get a ride before HFL?”

          • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

            Ha, well remember that we still have virtually no access.

            At the NY Show I was hassling the head of Yamaha about not bringing us on the SuperTen launch as he’d promised. He told me his street bike PR guy has an irrational hatred for two people: me and John Ulrich.

            Honda said pretty much the same thing. The guy we deal with loves HFL, but the higher ups only want to work with their old boys network.

            But don’t worry too much, that network is rapidly going out of business.

            • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate BeastIncarnate

              I know your access sucks, that’s why I don’t begrudge HFL for any lack of reviews. It’s sad that there’s a fight when the end goal is the same: to recognize great bikes and see motorcycling succeed.

              Ah well, I’m patient. Either the system will change or the community will circumvent it.

  • Gregory

    Along with Hell For Leather, I read Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN) (physical copy, delivery to my door every month) and Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly (MMM) (online). Those three give me all the motorcycle news a man could want.

    MCN has very good ride reviews and very good columnists. MMM, again, brings a mature sense to its ride reviews and has entertaining columnists.

    I used to read Motorcycle.com, but they’ve gone too “advertisement heavy” and have lost a few of their good writers. I only peruse their page infrequently nowadays.

    -gregory
    2008 KLR 650
    Portland, OR

    • ike6116

      The dream of the 90s is alive in portland

      • Gregory

        +1

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate BeastIncarnate

      Good calls all around, Greg.

  • David Edwards

    To be fair to my former compadres in specific and print magazines in general, that 310,000 reader figure for Cycle World is paid circulation, not click-throughs for free as at most websites.

    To say that print is dead is just silly. The medium needs to change and be more relevant as the web continues to evolve — and sooner rather than later, please — but it is far from morgue-ready. In fact, done right, with an accompanying website handling hard news and immediate riding impressions, a magazine could be set free to really play up print’s traditional strengths — superb layout, fine photography and in-depth stories.

    Will that happen for Cycle World under new ownership. I’m not hopeful.

    • Mr.Paynter

      Random different sub-culture but there are surfers getting it right here in SA:

      http://www.thebombsurf.com/default.asp

      Poigniant, thick-as magazines, for FREE delivered to your door, paid for by advertisers full of lifestyle content, backed up with their website which is light and entertaining with a bunch of regular contributions AAAAND constant feed of the big news in Surfing with weekly emails reminding you if you haven’t had time to log on!

  • David Edwards

    Yeah, like the energy. Feels like part of a club or movement, which is what moto mags used to provide and could again — with a website adding up-to-the-minute items and direct feedback. Print or pixel, it’s all about community, or should be…

  • george

    I’ve got a copy of the last issue of ‘cycle’ mag, what they all aspired to !
    the masses didn’t understand or care.

  • Greg

    I recently re-subscribed to Cycle World simply because I missed Kevin Cameron and to a lesser extent Peter Egan.
    Mr. Edwards, please make sure they know where to post their missives once CW finally succumbs.
    At one time, I subscribed to a variety of moto magazines but it’s been some time since I looked forward to the monthly delivery of glossy paper.