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News Mags closes Alpha magazine and hands specialist titles to Express Publications

alpha magazineNews Magazines is to close sports title Alpha magazine and license most of its specialist titles to Express Publications, Mumbrella has learned.

Express Publications will take on Modern Fishing, Modern Boating, Overlander 4WD, Truckin’ Life, Live To Ride, 2Wheels, Chopper, Tattoo and Scooter along with their websites.

Alpha was originally launched by News Ltd as a bundled sale with its papers on news stand.

But sales struggled after it was moved to a standalone sale.

The last set of Audit Bureau of Circulation figures saw Alpha fall by more than 11% to 65,000.

Alpha is the latest male focused title to bite the dust. When ACP closed Ralph last year, it decided to continue with an online edition. But Mumbrella understands there will be no online second life for Alpha.

And in December Fairfax Media decided to close Sport & Style, weeks after launching an iPad app.

News Magazines’ decision to close Alpha comes five months after launching an iPad edition for the title. iTunes reviews suggest that the app suffered a number of technical problems.

The agreement with Express Publications begins next week.

News Magazines’ CEO Sandra Hook said: “Our specialist titles are known for passionately serving their engaged and loyal readers. We believe that Express Publications with its extensive portfolio of niche and specialist magazines will be an ideal home for these titles.”

Speaking of Alpha, Hook said: “Closing a title is never an easy decision. The Alpha team has worked consistently and diligently in an extremely competitive and fragmented environment. Throughout its publication, Alpha has maintained solid rapport with its loyal and passionate sports-loving readers and advertisers.”

A staement from News Magaiznes said: “Regrettably some redundancies are anticipated.”

News Magazines will continue to publish its other specialist titles Big League and Australian Golf Digest under licence to the NRL and Condé Nast.

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