38 Automotive Titles Dead or Resting

Uncanny, about this time last year we reported the loss of 40+ automotive publications and here we go again: 38 former pulp entities are no more.

Many are now online-only, following in the footsteps of of Auto Trader that took the bold and timely step to cut the paper, so to speak. Our hats off to all that tried and only got through Turn One.
Please email any corrections/additions to CPI.
TITLE
PUBLISHER
STATUS
0-60
Harris Publications
ceased publication
ATV Magazine
Ehlert Publishing Group
merged ATV Rider
ATV Sport
Ehlert Publishing Group
merged ATV Rider
Auto Trader
Auto Trader Publishing
web only
Barnett’s Magazine
Barnett’s Magazine
web only
Biker Ally
Biker Ally Magazine
ceased publication
Car & Truck Trader
Farm Country Trader
web only
Car Audio and Electronics
Source Interlink
ceased publication
Classic Chevy Magazine
Eckler Industries
catalog only
Corvette & Chevy Trader
Auto Trader Publishing
web only
Corvette Market
Automotive Investor Media Group
merged American Car Collector
Cycle Trader
Dominion Enterprises
web only
Deals on Wheels
Auto Trader Publishing
web only
Farm Country Trader
Farm Country Trader
web only
Green Car Journal
RJ Cogan Specialty Publications Group
web only
Hotline News
Hotline News
ceased publication
J Rations
Outgate Media
ceased publication
Kit Car
Source Interlink
web only
Kustoms & Hot Rods
Deals on Wheels
ceased publication
Makes and Models
Makes and Models Magazine
ceased publication
Mustang & Ford Trader
Auto Trader Publishing
web only
Nascar Illustrated
American City Business Journals
merged Sporting News NASCAR
National RV Trader
Dominion Enterprises
web only
National Speed Sport News
National Speed Sport News
web only
Old Car Trader
Auto Trader Publishing
web only
R/C Car
Hi-Torque Publications
ceased publication
Robb Report Collection
Curtco Publishing
web only
RV Trader
Dominion Enterprises
web only
Scoot Magazine
Scoot Quarterly
ceased publication
Side X Side Action
PGI Media
ceased publication
Specialty Car Marketplace
Auto Trader Publishing
web only
Sporting News NASCAR
American City Business Journals
ceased publication
Stock & Custom
Big Runners Publishing
ceased publication
Street Chopper
Source Interlink
web only
Subiesport
MediaSpigot
merged Grassroots Motorsport
Tailgate
Paisano Publications
ceased publication
Truck, Race, Cycle and Rec
Auto Trader Publishing
web only

Popularity: 3% [?]


Eric's Consulting Services for Publishers

There Are 8 Responses So Far. »

  1. What’s going on with the Amos titles? Are they still alive?

    And I hear Van Bogart is the sole remaining FT staffer at OCW.

  2. Phil… Amos’ email newsletters are grounded in late nineties methods. As for OCW, management hubris not unlike what doomed the Titanic.

  3. Eric:
    Just got your first e-newsletter, excellent job, great format. As someone who once earned his living producing print automotive magazines and books and still dabbles with an online blog, I love your comments and coverage and miss the good old days.

    Best,
    Marty
    Editor, Car Guy Chronicles.com

  4. Thank you, Marty. Please feel free to chime in at any time!

  5. Eric

    i have noticed that many magazines that were paying me larger fees than other magazines are now gone. Hmmm! Do you think maybe they were paying me (and others) too much to start with? Hmmm!

    I’ve also noticed that there are still more car magazines on the newsstand today than there were when I started writing in the mid-1970s. Do you think maybe too many people thought they could start a magazine and make big bucks? Hmmm.

    As far as I’m concerned, the industry itself is bigger and better. The doom and gloom gets a little overdone. There is a little cliqueshness to the free-lancing market, but I have still met talented beginners in the past year who’ve had success breaking in.

    The good old days were great butthings change and what’s left today is pretty good.

    John Gunnell

  6. Yeah, newsstands seem jammed with all manner of titles but I’m not seeing too many warm bodies at the check out. The rationale is basic: direct mail sub drives are hugely expensive and list owners simply won’t rent or are strictly on a swap basis. I also believe publishers, particularly newbies, are lulled into a false sense of security that big newsstand distribution is equivalent to making money. Even the “Fab Four,” Automobile, Road & Track, Motor Trend, Car & Driver are increasingly relying on newsstand to maintain rate base while dropping sub prices to below the water line. How long can you survive on a $5 sub?!
    Like news reporting itself, newspapers and consumer mags are reducing staff and using more freelancers or going strictly online with non-paid bloggers.
    “Content is so valuable it’s free!” – you heard it here first!
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments, John.

  7. Eric

    Your monitoring of the industry is important. What I see happening is somewhat reflective of the “bigger share ofthe pie” attitude towards recessions. I mean, when i peruse an average size magazine rack (say K Mart) it seems like 60-70 percent of the titles are from the same publishers. The thinking has always been that if can increase share in a downturn, you’ll hold that share when things come back.
    On another note, a few weeks ago I went to a Barnes & Noble to buy a magazine for a friend as I knew they had run a story about a car like his. It was amazing how many different automotive titles there were. New motorcycle magazines and rat rod magazines seem to be arriving by the dozens. And if I know B & N policies, those titles wouldn’t be there if they weren’t selling.
    So what we are really seeing is more fragmentation and specialization and less work (probably) for free-lancers who thrived in the classic car magazine field. The “historian” types are particularly in a low demand area today. So, things are changing. But i will wager that if 35 titles disappeared last year, 35 new niche publicatins arrived.
    I just don’t believe “print” is dying as much as some say, but it is constantly changing. The old publishing houses are trying to cash in on the promise of the Internet, but there are other smaller publishers coming up right behind them.
    Free-lance writing is another thing. Today, everybody with a computer has the ability to be a free-lance writer. So those of us who made a living free-lancing have a new breed of competitor to vie against in the market. That probably means lower fees and less weight placed on experience, but writing — even for lower rates — is still a pretty good racket. Sure beats stocking shelves in a supermarket.

  8. John, I love your sage observations of the publishing world at large! Thank you for taking the time to comment.
    The newsstand drill derives from negotiating draws for titles that will meet an anticipated sell thru rate, expected positioning, desired rack space, and where the distributor sees a good return. The hidden detail is the publisher’s willingness to suck up shredding an untold number of issues in the hopes some meaningful percentage will convert to paid subs. Newbies cannot sustain this two-year start up phase (though they try) which requires full reliance on 90- to 120-day cash flows and uncertain sub conversion rates. Yet they enter the market hoping for big returns. God bless their optimistic naivete!
    I’m not seeing any new mag launches of note outside the niche hobby area, however. Just this week I was approached by a central U.S.-based publisher eager to launch a regional magazine covering the local scene. Pub has good traction thanks to FaceBook. Yet their model relies on free distribution (parts stores, events, dealers) and paid advertising. I just don’t see the survival prospects without deep cash reserves and a love of the project.
    Stepping back, it’s really about information distribution. Car folks want car news. And they want a place to share information, buy and sell, and socialize. When publishers finally grasp this simple concept they will realize that forcing their legacy print model on web-enabled consumers is not a recipe for future survival.
    Our beloved hobby pubs are just one area. What about the four big consumer titles, AutoWeek, OCW? Your thoughts?

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