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Motorsport Network to close Autosport weekly magazine publication


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#151 cpbell

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 16:17

Closures...price hikes....none of this is exactly making me feel like giving these people money in the form of a digital subscription.......

Rather similar to our view on Sky and their F1 coverage when a certain elderly Aussie was involved...



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#152 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 16:19

Leaving the sinking ship?


Probably wanting to avoid all the flak in the paddock

#153 Knowlesy

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 16:27

Sad news but the magazine has been in a long decline, going on two decades. This has only been reinforced for me as I have been scanning lots of articles from my old copies.

Nonetheless, I did continue to pay for and use the online section. Content should be paid for and journalists need all the support they can get. Autosport was a great part of my youth, Thursdays were just the best and I wanted to keep giving back to this old institution even if it was letting me down with truly dreadful articles from time to time.

Sadly, this utter dick move of pulling the plug whilst hiking the price up to a crazy level is it for me. My subscription ends today.

Thanks for the memories Autosport and I hope all the staff don't suffer too much disruption.

#154 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 16:47

I went back to look at old copies from 1998 and they were so much fun! I forgot how cool Autosport was back then. I actually bought the 1995 British GP copy on e-bay yesterday as well; for some reason I never had it. Even in 2013 it was a lot better. That's what they should do if they are disappointed in circulation; go back and see what worked.... Having Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso on the cover every week isn't helping. I saw virtually the same issue 3 years apart (how to fix or what's wrong with Alonso) who cares? 



#155 milestone 11

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 18:11

I went back to look at old copies from 1998 and they were so much fun! I forgot how cool Autosport was back then. I actually bought the 1995 British GP copy on e-bay yesterday as well; for some reason I never had it. Even in 2013 it was a lot better. That's what they should do if they are disappointed in circulation; go back and see what worked.... Having Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso on the cover every week isn't helping. I saw virtually the same issue 3 years apart (how to fix or what's wrong with Alonso) who cares?

Get back to the '70's with Pete Lyons. There wasn't a series he couldn't write about.

#156 SonGoku

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 18:54

They throw everything at their online websites, but are they really that good? It doesn't compare to what the Athletic can offer in football and NBA. Autosport Plus doesn't give a lot insight compared to the usual ''free'' stuff on other websites, just see AMUS.

#157 Bleu

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 19:25

Here in Finland, Autosport hasn't been on sale for years in the bookstore I visit regularly. But I bought it sometimes in 1990s and 2000s, especially after I were watching some GPs live.

 

The first magazine I remember getting was after Monaco GP 1995 and the title was "How Benetton grounded the flying Williams" - the cover picture had David Coulthard in the air following the crash in the first start.



#158 Sunnny

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 19:35

The biggest surpise is that it lasted so long. Print is dead with a capital D. 



#159 NixxxoN

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 19:56

Such a pity that Autosport, as another example of high quality paper press, is heading to the graveyard. As is most of paper press firms in most countries. Very sad news, internet has killed so many newspapers and magazines, the few remaining aren't exactly in good shape either.

Edited by NixxxoN, 09 October 2019 - 19:57.


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#160 Fisico54

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 20:23

Below is a couple of lines from ABC.org's circulation figures for 2018. It is not possible to view previous certificates without an expensive subscription but I did find an overview of the 2016 figures. In 2016 circulation was 18,002, down 13.5% on 2015 so almost 20,000. What it shows is that since Motorsport Networks ownership, sales have dropped through the floor. I wonder why? It doesn't take a genius to understand. 2018's figures are down another 16% to 15,480 which includes 3,974 digital subscriptions. Maakes for depressing reading considering this is a global figure.

49269248-pdf-2019-10-09-00-17-26.jpg

Still talking 2.5m+ in sales so difficult to see it being heavily loss making

#161 F127

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 21:04

It would seem "unlikely" that 4000 digital subscribers could sustain the publication of the digital version of the magazine.

Transitioning the 11,000 print buyers (by explaining the situation, seeing out the year and producing a send off issue) would have added people who are actually prepared to pay for content.

 

Or "could" it be that Motorsport network simply have no intention of continuing Autosport in any recognisable format and are going to close the digital magazine too?

 

A cynic might say; they only want the "traffic" from a recognisable industry name. Maybe there will be another six months of clickbait and paywall articles and then possibly next year when you type autosport.com into your browser it will forward to motorsport.com.

 

:stoned:


Edited by F127, 09 October 2019 - 21:15.


#162 jonpollak

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 21:20

I’m gonna steal that £10 Autosport from my local newsagents.
Yep.. right under my jumper as the school kids come in to buy their sweets and the Beano.

Jp

#163 David Lightman

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 21:36

There's no denying they've handled it terribly, but I will continue to pay £4-ish a month for the online site as I think it's good value. What the future holds I don't know, all print magazines are doomed really but the £10.99 price thing is just stupid. If I don't feel I'm getting value in the future I'll switch to Dieter's new home.



#164 jonpollak

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 21:41

Sorry £11 pound Autosport...
Jp

#165 danmills

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 21:46

Just to back my earlier comments about getting news and various things for free, Autosport has yet to report on Correas video release.

 

That came over to fans faster because of free social media. When AS writes on it and dresses it up as a lovely article in a few days its old news. We're synced to all sorts of twitter and instagram feeds and by algorithms as soon as something breaks its in front of my eyes. It works. If Hamilton gets hit in the balls by flying croutons in a caesar salad, I'll see memes of it days before any web article.

 

No disrespect to this great brand but the future is in this amateur, throwaway, bitesized format, however that decides to evolve, littered with sporadic micro advertisement and product placement. The younger generation no longer trust or run to a big reputable single source as before, they like variation. Much like unheard of bands or unusual foods. 

 

We as ordinary people broke the key info in the RE story which many journalists took exclusive items from that first came from our research posts here. And we weren't paid a thing.

 

Big journos do a great job, but seems a lot of people are just as happy to pay less (or none) for an amateur report than something all singing and dancing.

 

Observational comments are my own first hand experience before you sensitive types take it personally. 


Edited by danmills, 09 October 2019 - 21:51.


#166 ceesvdelst

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 22:11

If you look at the sport on tv model now, this is following the same script.

 

Basically being driven at the least amount of people paying, rather than a huge amount on free to air or on streaming services. 

 

I know a magazine or paper is not free, but the idea is similar, keep the content to those that pay, when really the online news service is not something that has caught on anywhere near as well as pay tv or pay per view has.  It simply is a luxury the majority can not or will not afford.

 

Magazines are seen by most (believe it or not) as a luxury item, especially ones as expensive as motorsport ones, compare them to tv, lifestyle, even Private Eye.  Ad you will see punters have been paying through their noses for them for at least 15 years. Most car mags are a fiver a month, I would bet if they were 3 quid they would sell twice as many copies.

 

And Ross, sorry, but I have worked for several companies where I have been made redundant from perfectly good running places with full order books due to American asset stripping and greedy owners who see dollar signs. . (And European I might add)  Some people just want rid and will happily sell, look at Duke, Sutton et al. perfectly reasonable and functioning companies offered daft money, You would I expect too!!



#167 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 22:25

These guys think we are stupid, they really think Autosport & Motorsport dot balls is the only source around. 11 quid? Total 911, Classics Monthly, Motorsport, Evo, Top Gear, Auto Italia all make great magazines on better quality paper than Autosport and they do not cost anywhere near 11 quid.


Edited by Fiorentina 1, 10 October 2019 - 00:54.


#168 SB

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 01:16

Interesting image. Via Rencken on Twitter.

Green = keep
Orange = dissolve
Purple = undecided

79-AA1431-14-EE-4-B7-C-A5-F0-898-BC03387

 

Sorry my eyes are not clear and is it the Org chart of British Leyland ?!  :rolleyes:



#169 DarthWillie

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:15

Bought the first magazine in 88, kept on buying it until it wasn't a available in dutch bookshops anymore. 2000's somewhere.

Too bad but inevitable. Print for a specialised subject. Especially based on news that is easily available is a dead en.

Big problem is the rude ending, as if people don't understand they are killing it on purpose. Ah well, out of nostalgia I'll browse my Christmas specials, kept all the ones I bought. Sigh

#170 Imperial

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:46

I cancelled Autosport, F1 Racing and Motorsport magazines on the exact same day around three years ago.

They were crap and I have better things to spend my wages on. If they weren't crap I'd still be subscribing to all.

I am sure the blame for their crapness rests as much with the so-called journalists as with decisions made by the publishers.

It doesn't really help when certain writers criticise their own readership. I have been attacked via PM once by an Autosport writers lackey, been attacked direct by PM by a writer himself, been criticised by my own name on Twitter by one writer, and seen one calling us nattering nabobs recently. I really could not care less if certain people are made redundant.

The support staff I would feel sorry for.

I know that the graph on the wall tells the story of it all, but there are far far more niche magazines on the shelves. Autosport has no reason other than itself not to be a top-seller.

#171 jonpollak

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 09:27

“nattering nabobs”

That’s actually a great description even if borrowed from Spiro T Agnew

Jp

#172 Rob29

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 10:14

Still advertising print subscriptions £42.99 a nonth in todays issue :rotfl:



#173 RCH

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:23

I was truly flabbergasted when my newsagent this morning came up with a price of £10.99. He couldn't believe it for a while either. When I got home I phoned "Autosport Media" to complain. I got "We cannot take your call, please leave your name and number etc. etc." Does that mean their lines are blocked with calls or that they don't have the courage to answer the complaints?



#174 Pete_f1

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:30

Ah, the nattering nabobs who uncovered more of the Rich Energy saga than any of their journalists could be bothered to do.

#175 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 14:00

it's real. I wonder how many people bought it and how many people are signing up for their plus service? I'm betting there's a massive backlash and they'll never recover. Autosport will be done by the end of the season; magazine for sure and web-site too. Thanks to the non-racing morons running motorsport dot com. I'm so glad Zak Brown didn't become the new Bernie.... could you imagine? He managed to kill autosport.... 



#176 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 14:07

Well there's one of two things going on here.

 

Either it was a struggling/failing thing and in their vanity purchase from Haymarket they gave it a few more years on life support. 

 

Or it was sustainable(ie at least breakeven) and they're killing it to...I dunno? 

Either way the 10quid price doesn't make sense. Just stop publishing it. Hell watch the increase in price be less than the decrease in readership and this comes out ahead  :lol:  :rolleyes:



#177 Sterzo

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 14:10

Received my subscription copy through the post today. I'd paid £3 or something and it came through my letterbox priced at £10.99. Bargain! I'm rich!



#178 SonGoku

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 14:12

I think Autosport plus or Motorsport plus numbers are shockingly low. They also are changing it all the time because they realise it doesn't work.

#179 crooky369

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 14:18

Are we allowed to share the totally legal way of reading the Autosport Magazine online for free?

 

I wouldn’t have ever have mentioned this pre price increase out of respect of the people buying it in the shops. But now they’ve essentially killed that option I want to check.  And just to clarify when I say totally legal I’m not being sarcastic.

 

 


Edited by crooky369, 10 October 2019 - 14:21.


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#180 Imperial

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 14:19

Lots of talk earlier in this thread about how the Network's MO is to buy and close.

Which appears to be true.

But, to what end? They don't appear to ever actually replace anything, just close it.

#181 Fatgadget

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 14:20

The days of Motoring News ,Tripple-C, Rallysport  and Autosport  in print format   loooong  since gone. I'm surprised Autosport lasted this long TBH.



#182 Calorus

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 14:59

Autosport has, for years, been a shadow of its former self, I haven;t bought it for years.

 

As a reader since ~1993 I don't think it's a shadow of its former self, I think the game has changed.

Every Wednesday I'd be straight down to the Newsagents to collect the copy they put to one side for me. Unless there had been a race or rally that weekend I had no idea what was going on.

It was new information in a vacuum.

Nowadays, the only thing in the magazine I haven't read first online would have been the Features. And they're now published as soon as they are written too.

Goodbye paper media, you'll be missed, but I've not cared enough support you for 15 years and I don't care enough now.



#183 ensign14

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 15:27

The thing about the price increase is that it is not just unprecedented for Autosport.  It seems to me to be unprecedented in any thing in the entire history of the United Kingdom ever.  I can't think of any other thing that more than doubled in price overnight just for shits and giggles.  It's not insanity, but an absolute insult to the intelligence, to see big substantial magazines on all sorts of subjects going for a fiver and then seeing a weekly at £11.  The idea that that's for any proper free market purpose is so beyond any rational thought nobody with an IQ in the triple digits could read that editorial explanation seriously.



#184 Cornholio

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 15:31

As a reader since ~1993 I don't think it's a shadow of its former self, I think the game has changed.

Every Wednesday I'd be straight down to the Newsagents to collect the copy they put to one side for me. Unless there had been a race or rally that weekend I had no idea what was going on.

It was new information in a vacuum.

Nowadays, the only thing in the magazine I haven't read first online would have been the Features. And they're now published as soon as they are written too.

Goodbye paper media, you'll be missed, but I've not cared enough support you for 15 years and I don't care enough now.

 

The bolded bit is a really good point. Just remembering now, how getting home after school on a Thursday with a copy of the magazine waiting for me, was literally the highlight of my week, I'd spend ages reading every word of Pit & Paddock alone and 95% of it would be totally new news and information, aside from races I'd seen, anything that had appeared on Ceefax's motorsport page, and any big news that had made my country's mainstream media (Damon Hill losing his Williams drive, that sort of thing). I'd probably spend well over an hour reading the entire thing cover to cover.

 

Regardless of quality or trying to adapt with different types of content, I don't think that is something that can ever be re-created in the modern landscape.



#185 Calorus

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 15:54

The bolded bit is a really good point. Just remembering now, how getting home after school on a Thursday with a copy of the magazine waiting for me, was literally the highlight of my week, I'd spend ages reading every word of Pit & Paddock alone and 95% of it would be totally new news and information, aside from races I'd seen, anything that had appeared on Ceefax's motorsport page, and any big news that had made my country's mainstream media (Damon Hill losing his Williams drive, that sort of thing). I'd probably spend well over an hour reading the entire thing cover to cover.

 

Regardless of quality or trying to adapt with different types of content, I don't think that is something that can ever be re-created in the modern landscape.

 

PAGE 361!



#186 garoidb

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 16:15

PAGE 361!

 

The Nostalgia Forum guys would never understand!



#187 Stephane

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 16:15

PAGE 361!

 

This one i watched a lot.

 

This is what helped me learn english the most.  :drunk:


Edited by Stephane, 10 October 2019 - 16:16.


#188 Risil

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 16:31

Page 361 is fine if you don't want to look beyond the headlines. 363 was where the deep cuts were. And was it Speedway results on 366?

#189 cpbell

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 16:45

The Nostalgia Forum guys would never understand!

I'm a TNFer, and I frequently checked 361.  We're not all ancient over there. :wave:


Edited by cpbell, 10 October 2019 - 16:45.


#190 Calorus

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 16:47

I'm a TNFer, and I frequently checked 361.  We're not all ancient over there. :wave:

 

Of Ceefax, not the "Encyclopedia of Formula 1" (which I also had).



#191 garoidb

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 17:20

I'm a TNFer, and I frequently checked 361.  We're not all ancient over there. :wave:

 

:lol:  Fair enough. It served us well back in the day, as did Autosport magazine.   :)


Edited by garoidb, 10 October 2019 - 17:22.


#192 Jambo

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 17:30

Used to get the times from the TT on 365.



#193 LB

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 17:58

I can remember the scottish six day trials results on 369 at one point !!



#194 absinthedude

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 18:02

I think I have a signed copy of The Grand Prix Data Book and an early 80s edition of the Encyclopedia Of Formula 1. I've saved years and years worth of Nigel Roebuck's Fifth Column. For sure in the past Autosport was "news in a vacuum" and even in the early internet/web age it was the only way to get in-depth information and reports on various series. In the days before we had 17653286 TV channels it was the only way Brits could reasonably find out about what happened in Indycar, NASCAR, Bathurst, the various national F3, FFord and touring car series...the F1 season previews and reviews were the stuff of legend. 

 

And sometime in the mid 2000s that quality seriously slipped. 

 

Whether retaining the quality of previous times could have saved it is debatable. But it certainly didn't help. 



#195 Fatgadget

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 20:56

Page 361 is fine if you don't want to look beyond the headlines. 363 was where the deep cuts were. And was it Speedway results on 366?

'Kin hell! You must be ancient mate! :eek:



#196 jonpollak

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 21:07

Nah.. spring chicane he is.
Jp

#197 F1 Mike

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 22:59

Ahh Ceefax & Teletext, that was the best way to keep up to date with the sports news

#198 GreenMachine

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 23:32

PAGE 361!

 

 

The Nostalgia Forum guys would never understand!

 

Please explain?  :confused:



#199 milestone 11

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 23:38

Received my subscription copy through the post today. I'd paid £3 or something and it came through my letterbox priced at £10.99. Bargain! I'm rich!


Have you had a letter from them looking for an increase in your sub? I've not, but I only have the digital edition.

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#200 Widefoot2

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 01:39

People have long predicted the demise of motorsport, but we may indeed be on that downslope.  I suspect if you check the page area of advertisements in your older Autosports, then compared it to that of the last ~ten years, you'd see a significant drop.  It used to be those paid ads that really covered the cost of magazine production, now with a smaller "hard core" audience and a smaller base of advertising companies, there's bound to be a increase in the cover cost.  There has to, or it must die - that's sustainable (or unsustainable) commerce.

 

So we have aging fans (at 61, I'm not the oldest here), a shrinking advertising base, and costs that inevitably go up each year.  And worst for the sport, young people are turning away from racing, due to cost, political/cultural/ecological impacts, and perhaps worst of all - the car is either dead or dying as a mode of transport to the youngsters.  And by car, I mean the vehicle as a "living" thing, a partner in your freedom and lifestyle.  It just isn't that anymore, and autonomous vehicles (so not needing any engagement) are the apex of that - transport as a white box, an appliance.

 

You don't love your refrigerator (well, you shouldn't).  But we used to love our cars, and how many youngsters will say that now?