Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Things a little bird told me... Cycle World drops to six issues/year

I hear that advertisers have been told that Cycle World will follow the example of Bonnier stable-mate Motorcyclist, and print only six issues per year. Rumors are that the aging but eminently qualified Don Canet's been cut from the staff, and that from now on, only one writer will attend launches, to provide coverage for both CW and Motorcyclist.

Hmm... I suppose the other shoe had to fall, after Bonnier's recent decision to fold Sport Rider – probably the most respected of the three titles, anyway.

It's not clear how sending one writer to launches actually saves Bonnier money, since those expenses are picked up by OEMs anyway*. As one editor I spoke to noted, that is the kind of decision that will allow them to cut overall staff count.

I imagine that CW and Motorcyclist will publish in alternating months, giving Bonnier a new moto-mag every month.

I can't say this comes as much of a surprise. The CW web site seems, to me, to be tilting increasingly towards branded content presented as independent editorial.

Balance that with the fact that I just noticed Iron & Air was invited to a recent Harley-Davidson launch, and I suppose reasonable observers might call it a changing of the guard. Meanwhile ex-Motorcyclist editor Mitch Boehm's been hired as head of communications for American Flat Track. I wasn't exactly on their Christmas card list this year. I suppose I don't need to even apply for a credential next year. Oh well.

*Bonnier has been pitching OEMs on its ability to actually manage launches. I'm not sure if the company's done any motorcycle launches, but I know it has done some product launches. I suppose if it's vertically integrating in that way, cutting staff = increased profit.


  1. Mr. Gardiner I just reread your post you did on Cook Nielson a couple years back. I know there is some good writing about motorcycles on the web such as yourself.I do miss though reading a good moto magazine that look a little tattered by the end of the month. I still have a few Cycle's, Cycle World, and others I'll read again.

  2. I agree, Cycle World changed their format, I hated it, cancelled my subscription in protest. Then they shut down Sport Rider, the best mag they had. Next came Motorcylist, they changed the format to some awful coffee table rag, reduced my subscription by half. Luckly only eight months left, those four issues went straight in the bin.
    If Bonnier is trying to commit corporate suicide they are doing a great job. The stuff they offer online is weak on content and full of click bait.
    Thank goodness for Revzill, Roadracing World and excellent blogs like Mr. Gardiner's for stepping up to provide well written articles about motorcycles.
    By the way the book "Riding Man", is a must have for any enthusiasts library.