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Femme sports mag folds

Women's Sports circulation wasn't high enough, Olympics issue is finale

Conde Nast’s Women’s Sports & Fitness will feel the agony of defeat come this year’s Olympic Games.

The magazine will fold when its September Olympics issue hits newsstands later this summer.

“Women’s Sports & Fitness has been a superb magazine that we have been proud to publish,” said S.I. Newhouse Jr., chairman of Conde Nast Publications, in a statement, “but the readership of the magazine did not develop as we hoped it would.”

Kudos not enough

Women’s Sports & Fitness suffered some staff instability in recent months. In May, after publisher Suzanne Grimes jumped ship to Conde Nast’s Allure, Conde Nast was slow to replace her. Grimes launched Women’s Sports & Fitness in 1997 and led the mag to a National Magazine Award nomination and a Women’s Sports Foundation Journalism award during its first year of publication. Published 10 times per year, Women’s Sports & Fitness saw its circulation rise from an initial 475,000 to 650,000 in March.

But most Conde Nast magazines boast a circulation of more than 750,000 — Glamour has a circulation of 2 million, Mademoiselle and Self over 1 million.

After word spread that several candidates turned the publisher post down, Sandy Golinkin, former publisher of Allure, took the helm, and Conde Nast also named Agnes Lancaster as associate publisher.

Despite the recent hires, however, and the fact that “ad pages were hitting their mark,” according to Conde Nast spokeswoman Maurie Perl, the rate base wasn’t high enough.

Beginning with the December issue, subscribers to Women’s Sports & Fitness will receive Self magazine for the remaining term of their subscriptions.

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