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'Motor Sport' magazine


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#1501 jo-briggs

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 18:02

Virtual camping! Oooooo Matron........

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#1502 David Lawson

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 19:44

After a few rocky editions under the stewardship of the new publishers they appear to have achieved the slick style they were seeking with the September edition of the magazine.

It is impressive and glossy and I'm sure that the readership they are aiming at will like it, the small minority of old pharts on this Forum and I include myself in that group will not find it a good read but I doubt very much this is any concern to Stratfield Ltd as we are pretty insignificant in the scheme of things as they wish to find a new and growing market for the title.

As has been said on other occasions in this thread the magazine is a totally different animal to the one we all read forty years ago when it covered the contemporary racing and motoring scene and nowadays the coverage and themes they have moved towards will have a different appeal to that of the regulars on this forum and I think we have to accept that.

A high quality specialist magazine covering the history of motor racing doesn't appear to be viable these days, there have been enough attempts in recent years and unfortunately they have all failed so I don't see that we can expect MotorSport to try to achieve that either, I suspect that we will have to satisfy our interest through books, websites and club magazines.

I'm sure a great number of people here will disagree but I believe this is the reality of the matter.

David

#1503 MCS

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 19:52

Originally posted by David Lawson
A high quality specialist magazine covering the history of motor racing doesn't appear to be viable these days...


David - with all due respect, if somebody actually got it right I think it would be a roaring success!
Given the increased interest in all things "historic" (from a motor racing perspective), I don't see how a properly put together magazine could fail.

#1504 David McKinney

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 21:23

Speaking as someone who has been closely associated with several historic/classic magazines, my view falls somewhere between the last two.
I think a well-produced magazine of the type mcs (and no doubt many other TNFers) advocate could have succeeded ten years ago, but could not feasibly be launched in the current distribution climate.
On the other hand, although I am seriously considering joining those defecting from MS, I would certainly review my intentions if I could look forward each month to even one decent in-depth historical feature running to eight (or even 16) pages, if it told me something I didn't already know. That policy would surely not turn off the sound-bite lifestyle generation, but would go a long way to satisfying the more traditional readers.

#1505 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 21:46

Originally posted by David McKinney

I think a well-produced magazine of the type mcs (and no doubt many other TNFers) advocate could have succeeded ten years ago, but could not feasibly be launched in the current distribution climate.

Ay, there's the rub. :

It's now virtually impossible for a specialist/niche magazine to break into the market. Things are very tough out there and as James Page seems to have found even the big magazine publishers (who would have most chance of success) aren't willing to risk money on such a project. Circulations of motoring magazines of all sorts are falling - notably in the ricing/Barryboy sector, but they're all suffering to a degree.

On the subject of circulations, we still await the first figures from Octane, which joined the ABC earlier this year but may not have to report until Spring 2007. However, it appears that since the change of publisher, Motor Sport has withdrawn from the ABC, so it will be impossible to make comparisons between it and other magazines in the sector.

#1506 ian senior

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 08:38

Originally posted by Vitesse2

Ay, there's the rub. :

It's now virtually impossible for a specialist/niche magazine to break into the market. Things are very tough out there and as James Page seems to have found even the big magazine publishers (who would have most chance of success) aren't willing to risk money on such a project. Circulations of motoring magazines of all sorts are falling - notably in the ricing/Barryboy sector, but they're all suffering to a degree.


I'm sure that's true, but how "niche" is the kind of magazine we are looking for? Some fairly esoteric stuff seems to survive and thrive - I would guess that the readership of, for instance, The Automobile, may well be smaller than the potential audience for a magazine concentrating on the history of motor sport, but as I say that is merely a guess. And just how do the "one marque" magazines continue to survive - I'm glad to see that the magazine concentrating on Triumph cars (can't remember its name) is still around after many years, but are there really enough people interested in old Triumphs to ensure its continued viability? Is it because they don't spend much money on researching new articles, and simply recycle existing well-known stuff? Surely they can only go so far with that policy before readers become bored.

If we (and potential publishers) were to set our sights fairly low in terms of presentation - i.e. no art farty layouts, no glossy paper - would that help at all in terms of costs? I'm looking for content, not appearance. In a way, I'd almost like to see a return to the Motor Sport of old - articles crammed into whatever page they can fit them in ("continued on page 628", etc), ever decreasing font sizes....frustrating perhaps, but charming in a way. Did it really matter as long as it was all there, somewhere?

#1507 bradbury west

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:25

Originally posted by David McKinney
On the other hand, although I am seriously considering joining those defecting from MS, I would certainly review my intentions if I could look forward each month to even one decent in-depth historical feature running to eight (or even 16) pages, if it told me something I didn't already know. That policy would surely not turn off the sound-bite lifestyle generation, but would go a long way to satisfying the more traditional readers.


C&SC turns out some good stuff via Mick Walsh, Simon Taylor and Martin Buckley, inter alia. I often find that with Buckley, even if the subject is not one which would normally attract me, the detail of his better articles keeps me interested and educated. Octane varies more than somewhat in all aspects, other than in its consistency in reviewing expensive toys.

I recommend the VSCC and their quarterly magazine. The subjects may often be outside many TNFers eras or core interest areas, but the quality and knowledge in their articles, of a length to appeal to David, invariably written by non-journos but dedicated experts, make them a delight to read, and serves to broaden one's knowledge.

In terms of "modern" historic stuff, say 1950s onwards there must surely be enough people out there who were involved at the time who can be interviewed well, and written up equally well, to provide decent articles. I have said it before, but I always refer back to DCN's articles 15 and 20 years ago when he was talking to the key people involved, and producing articles of the highest calibre. They still read well and fresh and serve as reminders.

Magazines and journos surely have access to enough articles to which they can refer, officially or otherwise, along with specialist books, (it is called research) to be able to find decent subjects and to use as a base for expanding via further interviews to provide an updated story. Either they cannot or are not allowed to do it.

The longer, detailed articles might even stimulate further interest among the sound-bite brigade, sowing seeds for the future.

BTW, Which will be the first to interview Hans Ruesch?, see separate thread.

RL

#1508 David Lawson

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:28

Originally posted by MCS


David - with all due respect, if somebody actually got it right I think it would be a roaring success!
Given the increased interest in all things "historic" (from a motor racing perspective), I don't see how a properly put together magazine could fail.


The fact is that several excellent titles have failed and there is nothing to suggest that getting it right would prove successful, I believe that is wishful thinking.

My bet is that there have been a number of feasibility studies carried out in the last couple of years by small and niche publishers and none have proved it possible to profitably publish the sort of magazine that TNF members would want to read. If it was we would have seen it by now considering the incredible proliferation of magazines in newsagents these days on every subject under the sun however specialist.

We all know that these days a magazine can be produced by a couple of people, a computer and an office in your house and yet still achieve reasonable production standards so why hasn't someone done it?

It would be nice to hear from somone who has seriously carried out a feasibility study and get the whole story although understandably for business reasons I'm sure they wouldn't wish to make their findings public.

David

#1509 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 17:11

David L: the problem is not in producing the magazine. It's in actually getting it in front of potential customers, which is what David McK was referring to.

In the UK, magazine distribution is almost completely in the hands of a tri-partite monopoly of inefficient wholesalers, who work in exclusive geographical areas. John Menzies effectively control the whole of Scotland and Northern Ireland, while the majority of England and Wales is divided between WH Smith and Dawson News. Magazine publishers - if they wish to get their product into High Street stores and supermarkets - have no choice but to deal with these companies, who can more or less dictate terms to them. Unless you have the clout of a major publishing group like EMAP, IPC or Haymarket you are on a loser from the start, since they won't actively promote your title(s) without you paying them extra to do so. The big chains won't look at a niche title unless you're prepared to actually pay them to put it on their shelves. Before you know it you're pricing yourself out of the market .... even if you got to market in the first place!

If you're a snooker, pool or billiards player you may have come across a magazine called CueSport. You'll never see it in newsagents, because they took a conscious decision not to go down that route, purely on economic grounds. It sells through snooker clubs and by subscription only and is very successful, probably outselling all its rivals combined.

Right product, right place, right market ..... and with no overheads like attending (say) Goodwood to publicise the launch - just get it into the clubs and watch it sell!

If only it were that easy to launch a motor racing history magazine ..... :


Oh, and the magazine industry is quite happy to waste 40% of its product, simply because it produces too much copy and then sends it to the wrong places!

#1510 Paul Butler

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 17:30

Originally posted by David Lawson


....

We all know that these days a magazine can be produced by a couple of people, a computer and an office in your house and yet still achieve reasonable production standards so why hasn't someone done it?


David


And I suppose the thing that leaps out most from your post is the thought that why does it have to be on paper? You always seem to get the same old excuse when the price goes of "rising costs for printing" etc. so mitigate against those costs.

We all spend time sitting at the computer trawling through the forums so why would it be any harder to have something in (for example) Adobe that could be downloaded and read at leisure. There are a number of newspapers that offer "e" versions so why not a magazine in the same way?

I appreciate that it isn't the same as sitting there with a magazine that you can flick through but the thought occurs to me that maybe to preserve that which we enjoy so much then it needs to bring itself into the present.

I stumbled across a batch of Motor Sport from 1993/1994 in my attic the other day that I'd forgotten I'd got and it's been fascinating looking through them because to be honest there was bugger all in them! 30 odd pages of classifieds , reviews of the current F1 scene , a look at the BTCC , road tests of new cars , the Bod and so on. So things don't change do they really!

I'm sorry to say that if Motor Sport does carry on in the direction it does seem to be heading then mine will be another cancelled subscription.

#1511 Hieronymus

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 06:09

The cover price of MOTOR SPORT has sky-rocketed to R114 (± £9) per copy at book stores here in South Africa. To top it all…we get it two months later. At present the one with James Hunt in the Hesketh is floating in the stores.

Well, what can I get for R114…

28 litres of milk

or

23 loaves of bread

or

27 cans of beer

or

16,6 litres of fuel

or

Six months worth of television/radio license fees

or

A Pink Floyd or Def Leppard or Deep Purple or Jethro Tull DVD!

etc.

I still feel though that MOTOR SPORT is far better than say for instance the 1970’s. It was only the Grands Prix reports of those years that interested me.

Why is it so that this mag is constantly changing its editors? It's difficult for anyone to "build" the mag for any length of time.

#1512 bradbury west

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 07:06

Originally posted by Hieronymus
The cover price of MOTOR SPORT has sky-rocketed to R114 (± £9) per copy

Well, what can I get for R114…..........................
... or....

A Pink Floyd DVD!



Go for it.


BTW 16.6 litres of petrol would cost £16.60 or thereabouts in UK, or nearly two issues of MS at your prices.

RL

#1513 petefenelon

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 08:12

Originally posted by Paul Butler

I stumbled across a batch of Motor Sport from 1993/1994 in my attic the other day that I'd forgotten I'd got and it's been fascinating looking through them because to be honest there was bugger all in them! 30 odd pages of classifieds , reviews of the current F1 scene , a look at the BTCC , road tests of new cars , the Bod and so on. So things don't change do they really!

I'm sorry to say that if Motor Sport does carry on in the direction it does seem to be heading then mine will be another cancelled subscription.


The last couple of years of the "pre-historic" (if you follow my meaning) Motor Sport were painful to read. Once Jenks' GP reports had gone there was nothing really holding it together; you got the odd good interview and historic feature, but on the whole the magazine was pretty awful - and it had the sloppiest subbing, proofing and typesetting imaginable. The '97 relaunch came not a moment too soon. Watching the Green'un slump through the early/mid 90s was painful.

I'd comment on the September issue, but I don't have it yet... though to be fair it seems to take a couple of days for things to get through the postroom here!

#1514 bradbury west

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 19:55

What a good basis for an article for something out of the ordinary.

Dolphin sports and FJ cars,

especially as there was a sports racer at the Revival in 2004, and lots of the work is already done via the marque site. I suspect the journo would find him/herself leaning on an open door if they contacted the appropriate marque experts.

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=67131

Just imagine what other informative articles on unusual marques could be readily available if they tried. That's what we want.

RL

#1515 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 21:20

:wave:Good idea. Then go tell the nice staff , they might just for once have forgotten to look at this TNF or they are too busy in their new foto thing.

#1516 Mark A

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 13:19

Latest mag was on the doormat when I got back from holiday and it's not good. Think I have spent about an hour and a half looking at it in total.

As I don't come from the Jenks era of Motorsport readers I don't miss that, what I do miss is the interesting articles on cars that they drive/test, the circuits that no longer exist, races from the past etc.

What we seem to have now is a mag with one or 2 interesting articles, some advertising features of car dealers, a large artistically photographed (although they are using more period shots now) car which is usually in an auction somewhere. Bill Boddy's column is a single article now, not the 10-20 anecdotes of previous editions. It seems to be getting worse. The next edition has an article on board racing which I want to read, if the mag doesn't improve then it's the last one of my subscription.



I actually wondered how the recent editions compared, and on my desk is actually the July 2005 edition. In this there are great articles on the 250F, Nigel Roebucks legends, The track test of the Honda RA300, Honda in F1, another track test, this time the Tojeiro-Buick, Lotus 88 technology, Tom Pryce, Holden Touring cars in europe in 1986, Marc Duez etc. There were actually loads of articles I enjoyed reading.



Originally posted by Darren Galpin
I definitely get the sense from the latest issue that if you don't have a classic race car in your possesion then they aren't really that interested in you.



Your not the only one.

#1517 Stephen W

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 13:46

Originally posted by Mark A
Latest mag was on the doormat when I got back from holiday and it's not good. Think I have spent about an hour and a half looking at it in total.

As I don't come from the Jenks era of Motorsport readers I don't miss that, what I do miss is the interesting articles on cars that they drive/test, the circuits that no longer exist, races from the past etc.

What we seem to have now is a mag with one or 2 interesting articles, some advertising features of car dealers, a large artistically photographed (although they are using more period shots now) car which is usually in an auction somewhere. Bill Boddy's column is a single article now, not the 10-20 anecdotes of previous editions. It seems to be getting worse. The next edition has an article on board racing which I want to read, if the mag doesn't improve then it's the last one of my subscription.



I actually wondered how the recent editions compared, and on my desk is actually the July 2005 edition. In this there are great articles on the 250F, Nigel Roebucks legends, The track test of the Honda RA300, Honda in F1, another track test, this time the Tojeiro-Buick, Lotus 88 technology, Tom Pryce, Holden Touring cars in europe in 1986, Marc Duez etc. There were actually loads of articles I enjoyed reading.





Your not the only one.


I did fear the worst and it looks like my worst fears have been realised.

Leastways I can still go back and re-read the old mags which I have studiously kept.

Will someone please let us all know when normal service has been resumed and we can once again purchase a proper edition of Motor Sport?

Thanks!

#1518 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 16:11

:clap: Just found the date for no.9 :clap: Perhaps I will get it ,though they dont say which year :
but you have told what to expect :mad: so ill just sit back and wait :smoking:
:wave: regards :cat:

#1519 petefenelon

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 20:21

The September issue (it turned up in the internal mail eventually!) kept threatening to be good, and falling at the first. The Can-Am feature was inconsequential and bitty (but had nice pics), as was the 956 article (great pics, very Octane). The GT40 advert piece was worth half a page at most.

The best thing in there was the Cologne Capri feature - the only article that for me really passed muster as a "proper" MS piece in terms of depth, tone and form. The Brundle "Busman's Holiday" piece was OK too.

I'm finding myself spending less and less time with each issue -- my journey home is two train journeys of about 20 and 25 minutes, and I'd got through all the proper 'reading matter' in the magazine in that time. Not good.

I really want to support MS, especially as it seems to have tried to listen to the readers going green again, but it's getting harder and harder to justify.

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#1520 Alan Cox

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 13:34

Saw the new issue of Motor Sport in a local newsagent yesterday, but my subscription copy has yet to arrive............

#1521 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 14:18

Same here - extremely annoying.

#1522 Kpy

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 14:25

Hmph - my copy of the last issue only arrived 11 days ago. It hardly takes a yak caravan to get it to Normandy.
The current bunch care even less about the subscriber than the last lot, who at one time got my copy to me here within three days of publication.
:mad:

#1523 Sharman

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 14:51

Alan
I only got September's last week and it was not worth waiting for
JF

#1524 Paul Butler

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 16:20

Originally posted by Alan Cox
Saw the new issue of Motor Sport in a local newsagent yesterday, but my subscription copy has yet to arrive............


Same here - I was just glancing through the last edition and noticed the publication date of September 1st. Thought one of the ideas behind a subscription was to get it prior the high street?

#1525 SEdward

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 17:26

There's a dreadful blooper in the caption of the photo at the top of page 44. The photo certainly does not show Bruce McLaren at the wheel of a Porsche 917/10K in 1972...

Edward

#1526 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 07:22

No October copy here yet but they were all over the Motor Sport stand at Goodwood!

The issue appears somewhat better, contents-wise, than September.

#1527 Gary C

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 07:54

My last two issues have not arrived. I'm wondering if my subscription has run out, would have been of them to let me know in advance, I might have renewed.

#1528 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 08:50

Not arrived in today's post either. Not looking good.

#1529 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 09:37

Four of us took shelter from a heavy shower at Goodwood on Saturday in the Motor Sport tent.

We were immediately pounced upon by a young lady trying to 'sell' us the magazine. As it happens 3 of us were already subscribers and the other was until recently so she changed tack and attempted to sell us the James Hunt book at half price, a special offer to subscribers.

The 3 of us who hadn't already got the book didn't want it but we did get a free drink, a look at the new issue and the opportunity for a sit down in the dry.

The way it was being pushed, exclusively by people barely out of school, may indicate something, but I'm not sure what....

#1530 Kpy

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 09:45

Originally posted by Barry Boor


The way it was being pushed, exclusively by people barely out of school, may indicate something, but I'm not sure what....

Just a sign of your age, Barry. Selling magazines at shows is one step on from delivering newspapers ;)
Not that I approve of the current direction of the magazine, when they bother to send it to me.

#1531 Stephen W

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:07

Had a look at the latest issue in my local WH Smiths', it went straight back on the shelf!

RIP Motor Sport!

#1532 MCS

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:21

Originally posted by Barry Boor
The way it was being pushed, exclusively by people barely out of school, may indicate something, but I'm not sure what....


Desperation, I would suggest.

#1533 kayemod

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:26

Originally posted by MCS
Desperation, I would suggest.


If it means being approached by attractive young women, who's complaining. As long as they aren't just going to ask if you've remembered to take your tablets of course....

#1534 petefenelon

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:54

Originally posted by Barry Boor
No October copy here yet but they were all over the Motor Sport stand at Goodwood!

The issue appears somewhat better, contents-wise, than September.


Similarly, loads of copies in London on Saturday, my subscription copy isn't in my pigeonhole up in West Yorks on Monday.;)

#1535 ensign14

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 12:06

Originally posted by MCS


Desperation, I would suggest.

Whose? Theirs or MS'?

#1536 green-blood

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 12:37

Look I've done my bit of bitching over the late deliveries to Ireland, as I said Glasgow is further than Dublin from the editorial office. I'd like to ask other subscribers to check the postmark on their next delivery, mine is coming from Switzerland.

Now I'm not an expert on printing and distribution but surely Switzerland is not a hotbed of cheap distribution and postage....

#1537 Kpy

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 12:45

Originally posted by green-blood


Now I'm not an expert on printing and distribution but surely Switzerland is not a hotbed of cheap distribution and postage....

Last month's came from England. Before that it came from Switzerland.
The change did nothing to improve distribution to Normandy.

#1538 MCS

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 14:22

Originally posted by ensign14
Whose? Theirs or MS'?


Bit of both probably, but I meant MS.

Wonder what the subscription and circulation figures are these days...?

#1539 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 14:33

:clap: He-he , I thought got mine last week ,and now you talk OCTOBER issue , mine was SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad: :(

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#1540 Sharman

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 16:02

Originally posted by kayemod


If it means being approached by attractive young women, who's complaining. As long as they aren't just going to ask if you've remembered to take your tablets of course....



:clap: It depends which tablets they are asking about

#1541 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 17:37

Originally posted by MCS

Wonder what the subscription and circulation figures are these days...?

Secret. :rolleyes:

As I pointed out earlier, the new owners have withdrawn it from the ABC. Octane has now joined, but hasn't yet reported - the next set of figures is due in February 2007, when Octane will issue their first audited circulation.

#1542 Rob29

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 08:37

Even here in darkest Lincolnshire October issue now on shelf in local Forboys,but my copy has yet to arrive.

#1543 ianbeckett21

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 08:51

Hi,Here in even darker Staffordshire,my copy has not arrived either.It looks ever more likely I will not renew my subscription!! Ian.

#1544 petefenelon

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 08:51

Still nothing in the land of Dark Satanic Mills either. I'm losing faith and patience. This issue had better be good...

Have any subscribers received a copy yet?

#1545 Darren Galpin

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 08:58

Not here. But you can still buy the May edition in Boots at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, as well as the May edition of F1 racing. Obviously they haven't received any new editions in a while.....

#1546 jph

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 08:58

Even here in darkest Lincolnshire October issue now on shelf in local Forboys,but my copy has yet to arrive.



Likewise. I started subscribing immediately after the relaunch by Haymarket about ten years ago (having purchased just about every edition for the previous twenty years) and unlike many contributors to this thread, I received every copy before the magazine went on general sale. Stratfield have practically doubled my subscription rate and every copy since publication was franchised out to them has arrived late.

#1547 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 09:06

No sign in deepest north west Wales and I normally get mine earlier than many others.

Cancelling subscription this very day. :(

#1548 green-blood

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 09:08

well its on the shelves in Dublin, its not in my letterbox yet though. Must be a backlog in Geneva

#1549 roger ellis

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 09:10

Originally posted by petefenelon
Still nothing in the land of Dark Satanic Mills either. I'm losing faith and patience. This issue had better be good...

Have any subscribers received a copy yet?


Not this one.

#1550 kayemod

kayemod
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Posted 06 September 2006 - 09:13

Originally posted by Barry Boor
No sign in deepest north west Wales and I normally get mine earlier than many others.

Cancelling subscription this very day. :(


Have any of you lot thought about writing to The Times with your complaints about the non-appearance of Motor Sport? This thread is becoming depressingly reminiscent of their annual 'First cuckoo of spring' correspondence.