Just days after the Competitor Group sold several of its magazine titles, including Women’s Running, VeloNews and Triathlete, to a former VeloNews owner, the 30-year-old Competitor Magazine ceased publication.
The Competitor Running website, which claimed to have had 1.2 million viewers in June 2016, will live on at http://running.competitor.com/.
Interestingly, the Competitor Group website still has a magazine rate card for Competitor Magazine through December 2017. The publisher claimed the magazine, which had recently been rebranded as Competitor Running, had a circulation of 500,000.
The changes are part of new ownership. World Triathlon Corp. purchased the Competitor Group, which produces the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, in June 2017. The new owners, also known as Ironman, already produced 40 triathlons annually, including the world-famous Kona, Hawaii, Ironman championships.
World Triathlon Corp. is a subsidiary of the Dalian Wanda Group, headquartered in Beijing, China.
Last week, Pocket Outdoor Media of Boulder, Colorado, bought all of the Competitor Group’s magazine titles and related websites from Ironman except for the Competitor Magazine itself. Pocket was founded by Felix Magowan, a previous owner of VeloNews.
In an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Magowan suspected the Competitor Magazine was shut down because it was losing money. It was the only magazine within the Competitor Group stable that relied solely on advertising revenue and had no circulation revenue. The Competitor Magazine was distributed free at various outlets, including running stores and restaurants.
The sale and closure within the Competitor Group are just the latest changes within the endurance sport magazine industry.
Earlier this week, Hearst Corp., which owns KRCA-3 TV in Sacramento and Cosmopolitan magazine, among other titles, acquired Rodale. The Emmaus, Pennsylvania-based firm published Runners World, Bicycling, Men’s Health and several other titles. The purchase price was reported to be $225 million.