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Motorsport Network to close Autosport weekly magazine publication?


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#351 absinthedude

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 17:14

For me, Autosport magazine lost it's USP a decade or more ago. THere was so much great coverage of "lesser" series like the junior formulae, club racing, hillclimbing etc. It just lost all that...and "replaced" it with hyped articles about F1, Indycar, Le Mans.....series I can read about for free in any number of websites.

 

The reason why the likes of Doctor Who magazine continue to exist is becuase they offer something more than you can get via the plethora of free Doctor Who websites. Sure I can find reviews of episodes, news and rumours about the current/next series, even occasionally interviews with cast and crew. But the official magazine offers exclusive interviews, photos and extras like DVDs or free downloads of audio dramas. 

 

If it is going to survive, Autosport magazine needs a USP and it just doesn't have one any more. It used to be the magazine that racing drivers read themselves....from occasional club races and karters to World Champions, Indy 500 winners and F1 team principals.

 

If it was decided that the old USP of offering coverage of series which weren't represented elsewhere was not going to persuade people to buy....then they need a new USP. Motorsport network owns archives of photos (LAT) and videos (Duke)....why not occasionally offer a DVD with tantalising highlights of a few of the hundreds of videos they could sell for download or on disc....a preview of the photo archive....I admit I haven't bought the mag for years but when I stopped, there were no truly sensible and in-depth interviews with really interesting and/or important people. A four page spread of Claire Williams explaining how she believes she can get Williams out of the mire and what it's like being the most senior woman in the paddock....or a feature article with Toto Wolf, Christian Horner and Mattia Binotto having a round table discussion about the 2019 season and the future of F1.....have Seb Vettel guest edit an issue...things you won't get by picking up free news online. 



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#352 Sterzo

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 17:59

For me, Autosport magazine lost it's USP a decade or more ago. THere was so much great coverage of "lesser" series like the junior formulae, club racing, hillclimbing etc. It just lost all that...

Have said it before on this thread: it does still cover British club racing and the junior formulae.



#353 john winfield

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:33

Perhaps I'm a mug but the bizarre goings on at Autosport had me looking at the magazine shelves for the first time in a while. Not having kept up to date with this thread I was pleasantly surprised to see the magazine back at £3.99. Green header for Lewis's sixth championship, some interesting articles inside, current and retro, so why not, I bought one, my first new copy since about 1978. OK, 2017. Check my receipt the next day and Sainsbury's have charged me £10.99. Bastards. 

 

It's a global conspiracy. They're all in it together...... :|



#354 Sterzo

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 13:40

Check my receipt the next day and Sainsbury's have charged me £10.99. Bastards. 

 

Computah says Yesssss!!!!



#355 john winfield

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 13:46

Should've gone to Waitrose.



#356 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 17:56

Even though it says 3.99 on the cover, the scan still says 11 quid. $17.99 in the USA. This magazine is being mismanaged beyond belief. So sad that Russian billionaires who have no pedigree or passion for the sport are trying to monopolize the racing media. Staggering.... 



#357 messy

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 11:49

Anyone else had an absolute nightmare trying to get hold of the Top 50 issue? Dunno if this is legacy of PriceRiseGate but I’ve tried every single supermarket in a 5 mile radius and can’t find a single one selling it. It’s a bit worrying really, isn’t it?

#358 Fisico54

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 13:10

I got it an airport, none of the local supermarkets or WHsmiths stock it anymore

#359 Pete_f1

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 13:14

I see a few staff have left. Rats off a sinking ship?

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#360 JHSingo

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 13:19

Anyone else had an absolute nightmare trying to get hold of the Top 50 issue? Dunno if this is legacy of PriceRiseGate but I’ve tried every single supermarket in a 5 mile radius and can’t find a single one selling it. It’s a bit worrying really, isn’t it?

I was able to find it in my usual newsagents on the day it came out - I know that doesn't help you, but no, it was straightforward to find for me.

 

I see a few staff have left. Rats off a sinking ship?

There were rumours a while ago about some staff leaving to start a new venture, but I've not heard anything further on that since.



#361 Tsarwash

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 17:00

Check my receipt the next day and Sainsbury's have charged me £10.99. Bastards. 

 

I always check my receipts at supermarkets as it is not unusual that they get the price wrong. I think it is sometimes due to incompetence rather than ripping people off, as they often charge me less than the price given on the shelf. (But not as often as charging me more than the shelf price.)


Edited by Tsarwash, 27 December 2019 - 17:00.


#362 messy

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 20:29

I was able to find it in my usual newsagents on the day it came out - I know that doesn't help you, but no, it was straightforward to find for me.
 .


I finally managed to find it in a WHSmith in a service station - was quite the mission, though!

The top fifty issue is the only one I’d hunt out like this, though.

#363 jonpollak

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 12:52

Efremov steps down from role as Motorsport Network CEO


https://motorsportbr...rt-network-ceo/

Jp

#364 loki

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 18:34

Sounds like the print debacle took a couple more heads.  With the old guard content guys leaving my guess is thinning the herd to allow more content sharing.  Be interesting to see if Freeman lands at FOM. They could use him.



#365 azza200

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 00:53

I finally managed to find it in a WHSmith in a service station - was quite the mission, though!

The top fifty issue is the only one I’d hunt out like this, though.

 

2 shops near me which have always sold it, i went into both and did not see Autosport on the shelf.



#366 f1rules

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 07:25

Coming from Denmark i dont Have the insight into the printed version. But i have to say sounds naive low the price, with print and salary they should have increased long time ago but gradually, and not this big jump! But to expect a magazine like this for 3.99. I completely understood their strategy. Either people want pay for it or we go all digital

#367 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 15:52

Perhaps I'm a mug but the bizarre goings on at Autosport had me looking at the magazine shelves for the first time in a while. Not having kept up to date with this thread I was pleasantly surprised to see the magazine back at £3.99. Green header for Lewis's sixth championship, some interesting articles inside, current and retro, so why not, I bought one, my first new copy since about 1978. OK, 2017. Check my receipt the next day and Sainsbury's have charged me £10.99. Bastards. 

 

It's a global conspiracy. They're all in it together...... :|

 

 

Computah says Yesssss!!!!

 

 

I always check my receipts at supermarkets as it is not unusual that they get the price wrong. I think it is sometimes due to incompetence rather than ripping people off, as they often charge me less than the price given on the shelf. (But not as often as charging me more than the shelf price.)

GIGO.

 

Price files for supermarket and c-store chains are handled centrally. Which although it should provide consistency is really the weak link. If the price isn't changed by head office or the branch doesn't get the daily price change download (due to a comms failure or any of several other reasons) then these errors can occur. In the case of news, it's very often due to the wholesaler (usually WH Smith) not passing on the info; although to be fair they may not know about price changes until the stock arrives in their branches - weekly mags are in and out again in a matter of hours, so if the person at Sainsburys whose job it is to input this stuff knocks off at five and Autosport isn't in the wholesale warehouses until six, you can see how this can happen! Sometimes these things might not be picked up until the wholesaler's invoice arrives. Nearly a week later.

 

And before anybody asks, even if there is one, most EPOS systems don't read the price bit of the barcode - they rely on the retailer's price file!



#368 jonpollak

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 21:11

I’d have never believed you’re in supermarket upper management...until now.

Jp

#369 Marklar

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 14:10

So Scott Mitchell, Edd Straw, Glenn Freeman and Lucy Morson (Formula W) all left to a new platform named "The Race" (where they are also joined by Mark Hughes). Gotta wonder who is going to be left at the end.

Personally I think that's a great news for the F1 press landscape at large, more independence is always better, but I really worry for Autosport....

Edited by Marklar, 14 January 2020 - 14:17.


#370 blackhand2010

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 14:20

The Race...?

Really...?

Cos that name isn't gonna throw up any problems when Googled...



#371 milestone 11

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 19:24

https://mobile.twitt...om/wearetherace

#372 David Lightman

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 21:42

I wonder who is financing it all?



#373 krapmeister

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 21:56

So does that mean Mark Hughes has left Motorsport Magazine?

#374 Rydo

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:13

Off topic slightly but does anyone remember F1 News International magazine? Used to love the Eff One section. Think the writer died sadly.

I had a feeling when I first heard of the pending demise of Autosport last year, that Hughes et al would break away to start up a similar thing to "The Athletic" which might not be bad for those of us who long for more features on grass roots club racing. I still enjoy picking up a magazine especially at the start of the season. But I ended up F1 magazine sub last year having failed to remove them from the outer cellophane for months.

#375 jonpollak

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:20

I like it and will sub if need be.
MPH is my guy.
Jp

#376 Marklar

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:27

So does that mean Mark Hughes has left Motorsport Magazine?

Nope, he will be at both (and sky)



#377 Sterzo

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:39

Autosport and Motor Sport have always existed with about three permanent writers supplemented by freelancers. Nothing new there.



#378 danmills

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 01:43

Off topic slightly but does anyone remember F1 News International magazine? Used to love the Eff One section. Think the writer died sadly.

I had a feeling when I first heard of the pending demise of Autosport last year, that Hughes et al would break away to start up a similar thing to "The Athletic" which might not be bad for those of us who long for more features on grass roots club racing. I still enjoy picking up a magazine especially at the start of the season. But I ended up F1 magazine sub last year having failed to remove them from the outer cellophane for months.

 

I have almost every issue of this from early 90s to early 00s boxed in my loft, brilliant magazine. I had planned to digitise them myself for the GPX community projects working on carshapes, liveries and tracks. Did a few but it was time consuming.

 

Remember Jordans Jottings? And the free poster in the centre of every issue, my bedroom wall was covered.


Edited by danmills, 15 January 2020 - 01:45.


#379 Rydo

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 06:47

I have almost every issue of this from early 90s to early 00s boxed in my loft, brilliant magazine. I had planned to digitise them myself for the GPX community projects working on carshapes, liveries and tracks. Did a few but it was time consuming.

Remember Jordans Jottings? And the free poster in the centre of every issue, my bedroom wall was covered.


Yeah my bedroom was covered in the posters when I was about 14! I bought 3 old issues on ebay last night. I look forward to reading through them!

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#380 absinthedude

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 08:29

F1 News...bought the first issue, and subscribed until the end if memory serves, despite living in the USA towards the end of the 90s. Not only the brilliant "Eff One" column and "Mogsley - F1's Fat Cat" cartoon but genuine news items. "Put's the fun back into F1" was the tag line.

 

I forget the editor's name but I loved his own column, claiming to drink pints of "badger's breath" at his local pub. I wouldn't be at all surprised if a small brewery today produces an ale under that name. I believe he was battling cancer in the last year or so of publication and the magazine folded when it was clear he was losing that battle. The mag may have been sold during his illness, and the new publisher pulled out. I think it lasted a good decade in the end.

 

We need something similar! Where's Eff One when we need him?


Edited by absinthedude, 15 January 2020 - 08:45.


#381 absinthedude

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 08:44

Derek Wright was the editor of F1 News. Here's a lovely little piece on him

 

https://www.grandpri...ns/ns04302.html



#382 Shockabuku

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 17:21

Motorsport Network have sold Motorsport News to Kelsey Media.

 

https://www.kelsey.c...otorsport-news/

 

Fingers crossed this will mean a long future for the paper. I've no information to base that on, I'm just hoping.



#383 Alexis*27

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 09:11

"LOOK OUT FOR GRAND PRIX RACING: STARTING MARCH 5TH

Dear subscriber,

F1 Racing takes great pride in striving to bring you the very best coverage from inside Formula 1.

That has been our mission since the magazine was founded, almost 25 years ago, and remains so as we enter this new decade, with a new name: Grand Prix Racing.

This is an important step for us to take, one that is absolutely necessary to bolster the magazine’s future and safeguard its independence.

It also represents an exciting opportunity: to forge into the 2020s with new freedom to enhance the magazine’s digital and social media presence, imbued with fresh focus on our central mission and renewed commitment to publishing a quality printed product containing the best independent F1 coverage we can deliver.

The forthcoming February issue of F1 Racing, on sale January 30th, will be the last published under that title. Look out for Grand Prix Racing from March 5th.

We hope you like the new name, and thank you for your continued support.

Ben Anderson, Editor "

#384 Rinehart

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 09:36

I really don't understand the point of a weekly motorsport magazine these days when you can have read 100 x the content online, for free, up to a week before it comes out. Printed weekly news magazines in any industry are obsolete in this day and age, imo. 

 

Let's say today a big story breaks about Porsche entering F1 in 2021... you wouldn't be reading about that until Thursday 30th Jan, by which time you could have read tonnes about it online from more than 50 great websites, plus participated in numerous social media/forum discussions, where you'd find links to even more information. All the magazine can offer is an exceptional editorial recapturing the story but very, very unlikely any exclusive information.... which would be online in minutes if it were...



#385 Burai

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 09:44

"LOOK OUT FOR GRAND PRIX RACING: STARTING MARCH 5TH

Dear subscriber,

F1 Racing takes great pride in striving to bring you the very best coverage from inside Formula 1.

That has been our mission since the magazine was founded, almost 25 years ago, and remains so as we enter this new decade, with a new name: Grand Prix Racing.

This is an important step for us to take, one that is absolutely necessary to bolster the magazine’s future and safeguard its independence.

It also represents an exciting opportunity: to forge into the 2020s with new freedom to enhance the magazine’s digital and social media presence, imbued with fresh focus on our central mission and renewed commitment to publishing a quality printed product containing the best independent F1 coverage we can deliver.

The forthcoming February issue of F1 Racing, on sale January 30th, will be the last published under that title. Look out for Grand Prix Racing from March 5th.

We hope you like the new name, and thank you for your continued support.

Ben Anderson, Editor "

 

This is probably good news. The constant mentions of "independence" suggest that Liberty wanted more control over editorial in exchange for the licence to use the F1 name.



#386 mistakenplane

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 10:14

This is probably good news. The constant mentions of "independence" suggest that Liberty wanted more control over editorial in exchange for the licence to use the F1 name.

Or that F1 decided not to license the use of its name as it brings more bits back in-house?



#387 ExFlagMan

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:06

The MSN move sounds like a good idea - hopefully it will mean an end to Autosport and MSN having almost identical contents as seems to have become more prevalent over the last year or so.

 

Lets hope MSN will move back to its roots of reporting club motor sport - and resurrect more comprehensive results - after all I suspect that a lot of club competitors buy it to see their results in print.

 

Autosport seems to be gradually abandoning club/national race reporting.



#388 Burai

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:06

Or that F1 decided not to license the use of its name as it brings more bits back in-house?

 

Could well be. Another option is that Motorsport Network simply want to save money.



#389 Rydo

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 19:19

Or that F1 decided not to license the use of its name as it brings more bits back in-house?


I'd say that's exactly what's happening.

In other news, autosport plus annual pass is 30 quid today, 25% off.

#390 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 19:46

Could well be. Another option is that Motorsport Network simply want to save money.

 

I thought F1 Racing was sold? 



#391 absinthedude

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 08:49

I really don't understand the point of a weekly motorsport magazine these days when you can have read 100 x the content online, for free, up to a week before it comes out. Printed weekly news magazines in any industry are obsolete in this day and age, imo. 

 

Let's say today a big story breaks about Porsche entering F1 in 2021... you wouldn't be reading about that until Thursday 30th Jan, by which time you could have read tonnes about it online from more than 50 great websites, plus participated in numerous social media/forum discussions, where you'd find links to even more information. All the magazine can offer is an exceptional editorial recapturing the story but very, very unlikely any exclusive information.... which would be online in minutes if it were...

 

I agree in part, but much of the point of buying a magazine wasn't to get the very latest up to date news. Big stories regarding car companies entering F1 would have always been covered by the regular daily newspapers, radio and later TV. The point of reading Autosport was that you'd get a couple of pages of in-depth information written by a journalist who understood the sport and who likely knew the right people to talk to. The article would include interviews with people involved in the new project and information on a level not see in the regular press/media. 

 

Autosport started slipping in that regard before the online revolution set in. They lost readers precisely because the quality of journalism, once pretty much without peer in the motor racing world, slacked off. Lately there is little to be gained by reading the magazine or the website compared with any number of free websites or just taking a story from a couple of mainstream news outlets. 

 

Autosport has suffered like any print based publication, but also lost revenue streams like it's premium rate phone lines. In the 80s and 90s you had Martin Haven with the "Autosport grand prix line" and the "Autosport line". Before the www became popular, and before things like F1 qualifying were broadcast on TV....if one wanted to know who was on pole for the title deciding Australian grand prix one had to ring a premium rate phone line.No doubt that was a lot of lost revenue when one could simply go to a couple of websites, autosport's included, and find out everything about F1 qualifying or an Indycar race or the practise sessions for the Renault Clio Cup if that was your specific area of interest. 

 

Autosport's USP used to be that level of in-depth expert coverage and their coverage of British national club racing. Motorsport News seems to have wrested that from Autosport leaving Autosport with no real USP. If Motorsport News is now detached from Motorsport Network that could be good for both entities. It's not so long ago that likely none of us knew of Motorsport Network....they started buying up everything and seem to have bitten off more than they could chew. Additionally, naturally some entities are less relevant now than in the past. We must also figure in the general decline in interest in F1 and motorsport, at least in the UK where Autosport is based. 

 

I've felt for a while that if Autosport as a print magazine and pay site is to be saved, then the print magazine probably needs to change to bi-weekly publication. And it needs that excellent standard of journalism and writing that it enjoyed in the past. Something to persuade people that it's worth forking out for a subscription or to buy the mag on the shelf. 



#392 lustigson

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 10:14

I was trying to find more information about The Race a.k.a. We Are The Race a.k.a. The-Race.com, but with such a generic name, it's a bit difficult to find anything relevant on this forum.  :stoned:

 

It appears that quite a number of ex-Autosport.com journalists are involved with The Race: Edd Straw, Scott Mitchell, and even Gary Anderson.

 

The site is live, now, and looks the part. I wonder how they will finance their endeavour. Judging from the quality of their content to date, I'd consider subscribing.



#393 Rinehart

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 10:33

I agree in part, but much of the point of buying a magazine wasn't to get the very latest up to date news. Big stories regarding car companies entering F1 would have always been covered by the regular daily newspapers, radio and later TV. The point of reading Autosport was that you'd get a couple of pages of in-depth information written by a journalist who understood the sport and who likely knew the right people to talk to. The article would include interviews with people involved in the new project and information on a level not see in the regular press/media. 

 

Autosport started slipping in that regard before the online revolution set in. They lost readers precisely because the quality of journalism, once pretty much without peer in the motor racing world, slacked off. Lately there is little to be gained by reading the magazine or the website compared with any number of free websites or just taking a story from a couple of mainstream news outlets. 

 

Autosport has suffered like any print based publication, but also lost revenue streams like it's premium rate phone lines. In the 80s and 90s you had Martin Haven with the "Autosport grand prix line" and the "Autosport line". Before the www became popular, and before things like F1 qualifying were broadcast on TV....if one wanted to know who was on pole for the title deciding Australian grand prix one had to ring a premium rate phone line.No doubt that was a lot of lost revenue when one could simply go to a couple of websites, autosport's included, and find out everything about F1 qualifying or an Indycar race or the practise sessions for the Renault Clio Cup if that was your specific area of interest. 

 

Autosport's USP used to be that level of in-depth expert coverage and their coverage of British national club racing. Motorsport News seems to have wrested that from Autosport leaving Autosport with no real USP. If Motorsport News is now detached from Motorsport Network that could be good for both entities. It's not so long ago that likely none of us knew of Motorsport Network....they started buying up everything and seem to have bitten off more than they could chew. Additionally, naturally some entities are less relevant now than in the past. We must also figure in the general decline in interest in F1 and motorsport, at least in the UK where Autosport is based. 

 

I've felt for a while that if Autosport as a print magazine and pay site is to be saved, then the print magazine probably needs to change to bi-weekly publication. And it needs that excellent standard of journalism and writing that it enjoyed in the past. Something to persuade people that it's worth forking out for a subscription or to buy the mag on the shelf. 

 

I just cannot conceive of what possible brilliant article an exceptional journalist is going to write every 2 weeks from now that is going to justify buying a printed magazine. 



#394 Grayson

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 12:37

I thought F1 Racing was sold? 

 

The plans for a sale were announced, but the sale didn't end up going through.



#395 Stephane

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 12:53

They (THE RACE) took over the ex-NismoTV (which was known by another name that i forgot since Nissan left) Youtube Channel


Edited by Stephane, 04 February 2020 - 12:54.


#396 ANF

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 12:57

They (THE RACE) took over the ex-NismoTV (which was known by another name that i forgot since Nissan left) Youtube Channel

The other name was/is Let's Go Racing.

#397 Stephane

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 13:03

that's this one, yep. 



#398 Marklar

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 15:33

Luke Smith joins Autosport.

the journalist silly season is more exciting than the drivers silly season lmao



#399 Silberpfeil

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 17:25

Luke Smith joins Autosport.

the journalist silly season is more exciting than the drivers silly season lmao

 


The speed with which most of the familiar faces/voices of Autosport’s F1 coverage defected to The Race was staggering. Their “new” podcast is good so far, and I’ll have to dig into the website in the coming days, but initial impressions are fairly positive. At least Autosport seem to be willing to plug the holes left – Luke Smith is a very good signing. On a similar note, Alex Kalinauckas has been announced as Grand Prix editor.

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#400 BRG

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 17:48

The other name was/is Let's Go Racing.

Isn't that the channel that covers Superformula races?  With a couple of keen but slightly (in a nice way) amateur commentators - I think they sound Irish?

 

I hope they still do Superformula in future.