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COVID-19 puts top UK fishing magazine under threat

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Sea Angler magazine, a UK title first published nearly 50 years ago, will cease to be printed and will be available online only in the future.

Sea Angler magazine, launched 48 years ago in the UK, is among ten print titles being sold, merged, closed or moved to digital-only format by European publishing giant Bauer Media. 

The company says the titles will not be sustainable when the COVID-19 crisis is over. Affected employees have entered a 30-day consultation period, reports the Press Gazette, the industry magazine for the UK publishing trade.

Sea Angler’s first editor was Ian Beacham. He was succeeded by the late Peter Collins, who was followed in the editor’s chair by Mel Russ. The current editor is Cliff Brown. 

The monthly magazine once boasted a circulation of around 50,000, but the latest officially-audited figure is 15,524. Another Bauer publication, Trout Fisherman, was merged with its sister title, Trout and Salmon, earlier this year.

“The pandemic and lockdown have further accelerated the trends already affecting the publishing industry,” said Bauer’s UK Publishing Chief Executive, Chris Duncan.

“Bauer publishes nearly 100 magazines in the UK, and some titles that were already challenged, unfortunately, are not expected to be sustainable after the crisis.

“We must protect the long-term health of our business and ability to invest in future growth by re-shaping our portfolio.”

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