July 23, 2014 Last Updated 2:33 pm

Condé Nast’s Golf World goes digital-only; will shutter 31 week print edition and publish 50 weekly digital editions

The magazine publisher Condé Nast today announced that it would shutter its print edition of Golf World, produced 31 times per year, appearing after golf tournaments, and would publisher 50 times per year, delivered digitally each Monday morning. Unlike other Condé Nast magazines, Golf World had not created a Newsstand app using the Adobe DPS, but has a flipbook-like app built by GTxcel, using an approach that is very much like what Sporting News employed in 2009 prior to launching their own native digital editions.

GolfWorld-iPadGolf World recorded a 20 percent decline in ad pages through the first quarter this year, while Golf Digest (the other Condé Nast golf magazine) and Golf Magazine, both monthlies suffered only modest declines. The title was the third book in a three book field (counting only the major magazines). In 2013, ad pages fell over 18 percent while its nearest competitors recorded page gains, and pages were down far more through its July issue this year.

With a total circulation of only 213,387, while its competitors have 1.6 and 1.4 million in circulation, one might conclude that the title is lucky to still be alive, but Golf World is very much a different magazine than its competitors, publishing an edition after each tournament, rather than monthly.

GolfWorld-iPad-spread“We recognize this is a big change from how we have operated and delivered the printed Golf World magazine in the past,” the magazine said in a blog post. “But this evolution allows us to increase frequency, improve delivery time, and add video reporting to better meet the expectations of today’s readers.”

“These are the right decisions, but they’re tough ones,” said Jerry Tarde, the chairman of both Condé Nast golf magazines. “This brand has been around a long time, and we want it be around for a long time. The only way to do it is by meeting the expectation of our readers.”

Ten positions will be eliminated in the move, according to AdAge, and Golf World’s editor-in-chief, Jaime Diaz, will now lead a new news-division team that will include contributors from both Golf Digest and GolfDigest.com.

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