First, on February 3rd I received by email from one of my sources alarming information regarding Source Interlink, publisher of 75 magazines (including Hot Bike, Street Chopper, Baggers, Motorcycle Cruiser, Motorcyclist, etc). News that the company would probably cease their distribution, was terminating many high level positions within their motorcycle titles, and was already contemplating filling for Chapter 11 reorganization.
Since then the economy continued its degradation, the numbers provided by ABC (Audit Bureau Of Circulation) indicating that newsstand print magazine sales were falling at a fast pace with advertisers disappearing, cutting their budget and/or transferring it to new successful Online Magazines & Blogs. On Tuesday, Source Interlink filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and at the same time issued a statement where the group declares that there is an ongoing court proceeding for immediate restructuration to operate its business without interruption.
Personally, I think that there are already too many publishing companies looking for investors, and that Source Interlink, if any reorganization is possible after eliminating debt and turning into a private company, will be forced to close definitively many of his enthusiast print magazines. I also believe that only very specialized enthusiast print magazines (“vertical” or “niche” motorcycle magazines) will be able to survive if running a mean and lean structure. It is worth noting that if the economic situation has accelerated the decline of all print magazines and newspapers, the way people look for news has completely changed, especially these last 5 years, with the web being the number 1 overall source for news and information. As an example since one year this Blog has more readers than the #1 American V-Twin Motorcycle print magazine. Realizing this, most motorcycle print magazines are trying now to enter and acquire a share of the news digital space.