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April 1, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:07am

Future to close six magazines and Kelsey Media shutters ‘best-selling’ boxing title

By Charlotte Tobitt

Future Publishing is planning to close six print titles, saying it has been “forced into making difficult decisions” as a drop in retail footfall impacts magazine sales.

One of the titles has been confirmed as the Official Xbox Magazine, which launched almost 20 years ago and had a paid-for monthly circulation of 15,022 in 2019, according to ABC.

The other five magazines affected are yet to be confirmed. Affected staff are currently being consulted.

A Future spokesperson told Press Gazette: “Like many organisations right now, we find ourselves being forced into making difficult decisions.

“While we do not feel it appropriate to talk about individuals, laying off talented colleagues is always a last resort.

“After a review of our overall magazine portfolio, we are proposing to close a small number of our brands and are consulting internally about what this means for the few colleagues impacted.

“Out of respect for that process, we don’t feel we can go into any more detail at the moment.

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“Whilst the decline in retail footfall impacts our magazine business, we are well placed with significant digital audiences and diversified revenues to continue delivering on our customers’ changing needs at this time.”

Future told its contributors last week that it was temporarily reducing its freelance budget “in some areas”.

It was also revealed this week that Kelsey Media’s Boxing Monthly magazine, which launched in 1989, will end next month.

The magazine, which Kelsey describes on its website as “Britain’s best-selling boxing publication”, has succumbed to the challenges of the digital era just weeks after the sport was shut down by coronavirus.

Editor Graham Houston tweeted yesterday: “When a publication dies, for some readers it’s like a little part of their lives is now missing.

“From responses received it seems that many feel that way about the death of Boxing Monthly. To all our loyal readers, heartfelt thanks.”

Writer Mark Butcher wrote that a monthly sports magazine “should not exist in the internet era”, but the team had worked “tirelessly” with no full-time editorial staff and low overheads since the death of long-time former editor Glyn Leach in 2014.

“Just before he passed Glyn told me he gave BM two years tops and was already preparing for life after boxing. I think/hope he’d be proud we took it beyond that timeframe.”

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