Sports Illustrated Is Now Reduced to a Biweekly Publication
Longtime Sports Illustrated subscribers were in for a surprise as they thumbed through the Dec. 25 issue — not so much a Christmas treat; unfortunately, more like a lump of coal. In 2018, an inconspicuous Editors' Letter announced, the magazine will publish only every other week (plus of course the Swimsuit Issue).
Editor Chris Stone's letter tiptoed to the big reveal:
"Sports Illustrated has been a weekly staple for more than 63 years, delivering the best sports journalism with near metronomic regularity. That will continue to be the case, but beginning next month the metronome clicks a little less often."
Don't despair, Stone told readers in his letter and me in a subsequent interview. Those fewer issues will have more of the long-form stories that SI sees as its strength, and more photos better displayed on higher quality paper.
And yes, the new model also aims for the return of the thud factor. "Optics do matter," Stone told me. "If an issue feels light" as SI and its sister weekly Time have lately, that gives off an insubstantial vibe to both readers and potential advertisers.