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Old 12 Jun 2007, 15:53 (Ref:1935180)   #31
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If you're a true fan of motor racing who buys Autosport every week, why should you care what's on the cover? It's just a picture and some words - there are 103 pages beyond it.
I don't, really. But it hardly stands out amongst the morass of blingmobiles.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 16:32 (Ref:1935217)   #32
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maybe now news isn't as pivotal as it used to be (hands up all those who used to catch the late bus home so they could run off into town to pick up the new autosport on a thursday when they were at school...), and we're all more used to forming instant opinions and expressing them far more freely online, it's less paletable to spend time reading what is essentially an entire magazine full of someone elses opinions. i tend to find the f1 reports very based around what a single journalist thinks rather than factual analysis.

opinion is good, although i suppose columns like nigel roebucks are more like experience rather than opinion. and there will always be a place for that.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 16:35 (Ref:1935219)   #33
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Nigel's column is the one aspect of AS that I think I will miss.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 17:50 (Ref:1935272)   #34
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I also enjoy Nigel Roebuck's columns, along with those of the other regular writers, but I'd really like to see more coverage given to other areas of the sport.

I totally understand that you can't be all things to all people but, for example, there was a huge rise in interest in Nascar at the start of the season. Mainly due to JPM crossing over but the coverage of that area of the sport is still minimal. I don't think devoting a couple of pages to Nascar each week would be too much to ask - this week we had about 6 column inches of news (this for one of America's most talked about sports) and a 1/3 page report of the previous race. To be fair we did get an excellent 4 page article about the Nascar man of the moment, Jeff Gordon, but that is sadly the exception rather than the rule.

Andrew, I honestly appreciate you taking the time to come on here and defend you magazine and I hope that you see our thoughts as constructive criticism rather than a personal attack (I know well how hard it is to swallow when people come on internet forums and criticise your work) but the plain fact of the matter is that, at the moment, Autosport is no longer what I want to read. Maybe it's changed, maybe I have, or perhaps it's more accurate to say we both have but, right now, it's not for me.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 17:50 (Ref:1935273)   #35
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it's one of the first things i read in the magazine, and on the website. he has a remarkably good way with expressing himself (and if famous old boys back him up, well, he can't be wrong ), compared to say, peter windsor who is just plain patronising.

edit: and to back up craig and everyone else - andrew, it's good to see someone taking the views of the reader into account. and facing the wrath of the wronged sportscar fan

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Old 12 Jun 2007, 17:54 (Ref:1935278)   #36
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I understand the need to put F1 on the cover, but some of the Hamilton coverage has been more tabloid than I care for.

To be honest I never read the F1 race report, or often the WRC, because I've seen them on TV; I know (largely) what happened. The news section is more interesting for the sportscar/touring car coverage that isn't so prominent on the internet. Most of the F1 news I've already read on the web.

Having said that there was a good article on Adam Carroll and Bruno Senna not long ago. I'd like to see more interviews than race reports.

I've never subscribed, but I've been buying it for ten years; it's become part of my week so it would be difficult to stop.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 18:13 (Ref:1935300)   #37
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Having said that there was a good article on Adam Carroll and Bruno Senna not long ago. I'd like to see more interviews than race reports.
Absolutely. 100% agree - this is something that Autosport does well. I usually read the article at some point during the week, even if I'm not usually interested in that area of the sport - yes I even read the F1 interviews and articles, especially when they're with designers, team bosses, livery designers, etc - ie something different from the usual driver stories you seem to get everywhere. It really shows the colour and character of those involved in this sport and is usually very informative and interesting.

I can only speak for myself but it'd have certainly gone some way to making me reconsider my subscription if there had been more of these types of stories in recent times.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 20:29 (Ref:1935424)   #38
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I have been considering pulling the plug on my subscription also, quite heavily of late.

A number of things really. The coverage of various motorsports is a constant bugbear. Some important series are totally ignored.

The whole reporting is getting completely sensationalist. I really do feel I am reading a tabloid at times.

And the recent things: Dario not making the cover in place of a ridiculous Lewis Hamilton cover that pandered to the ill educated masses. Inside it got worse. Mark Hughes, it seemed, had written his race report for the Daily Star and accidentally had it printed in Autosport. And so on and so forth...

I only really enjoy Roebuck's column these days, a guy who I seem to share a lot of similar thoughts with. In effect I pay the cover price for Nigel's stuff, 51 columns and an occasional feature article. Not sure I can justify that much longer really (what happened to the two page 5th Column's used after some race weekends in 2004 anyways?).

There needs to be a balance. Yes, the magazine needs to be commercially viable or it will simply not exist. That is a fact. But it needs to appeal to enthusiasts as well and this it emphatrically does not do! The balance is 80% leaning to casual, 20% towards proper fans.

It would, however, still be a sad day when I do cancel. I have read Autosport since I was a kid. Where other children were reading their Roald Dahl books or whatever at home, I'd be reading the latest Autosport magazine dad brought home. I'd be severing a long link, as I have barely missed an issue for well over a decade.

Thing is though, Autosport used to be something to look forward to. Thursday evening was dedicated to reading it from cover to cover. Now I feel as if junk mail is pushed through the letterbox of a Thursday, a 10 minute read whilst I make tea.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 20:42 (Ref:1935436)   #39
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It would, however, still be a sad day when I do cancel. I have read Autosport since I was a kid. Where other children were reading their Roald Dahl books or whatever at home, I'd be reading the latest Autosport magazine dad brought home. I'd be severing a long link, as I have barely missed an issue for well over a decade.


This is the exactly what is putting me off cancelling my subscription. I suspect when I do I too will feel that "I've done it".
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 21:17 (Ref:1935472)   #40
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The circulation figures are shocking. 32,000 copies are sold a week apparently. I understand 'commercially viable' and catering for the occasional buyer but, hell, there must be more than 32,000 people who work in motorsport alone. Those are the people who should be buying the magazine each and every week - surely that, and the number of people on this site, serious enthusiasts, who no longer buy the magazine should be telling?

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Old 12 Jun 2007, 21:23 (Ref:1935477)   #41
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Perhaps it would be a brave publisher that tried to go after the knowledgeable enthusiast? It is easier to write the sensationalised story for the masses (or 32,000).
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 21:25 (Ref:1935478)   #42
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I've renewed my subscription for another year, although I was planning to cancel it after 20 + years. And I probably will cancel in 2008.
For me, as I do not like F1 or sportscars, there is not much left in AS to read. I'm already about 10 pages in before I start reading the magazine.

As has been mentioned, it has to be viable for everybody, but for me the F1 part is getting too big.

I always look forward to the national bit, as it keeps me up to date on most things.
But then again I do not want to read about Belcar in the UK national section, or the US so-and-so, like a few weeks ago. Surely that belongs elsewhere in the magazine.
Keep the national part national, at least some clubracers will be very happy.

And yes, like so many, it will make me a little bit sad when I cancel.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 21:26 (Ref:1935479)   #43
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Have to say I've been a subscriber for 8 years, but gradually it feels as if it's just a copy of what I've read on here and elsewhere. I can read some stories on a Thursday when I'd first read them around 10 days before, although I do appreciate a lot of this is due to printing etc and the constraints placed by the very nature of being a magazine.

I share the same feelings as so many of you, I've read it for so long it's become a habit I don't want to stop it.
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Old 12 Jun 2007, 21:42 (Ref:1935497)   #44
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An awful lot of people with similar views then...... I wonder how this replicates elsewhere among motor racing enthusaists.....
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Old 13 Jun 2007, 00:08 (Ref:1935580)   #45
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Perhaps it would be a brave publisher that tried to go after the knowledgeable enthusiast? It is easier to write the sensationalised story for the masses (or 32,000).
And that's my point. Autosport used to create knowledgeable enthusiasts and then keep them. The target now seems to be the casual browser. I don't know what the circulation used to be, but I'd guess it was more than that, and they were mostly people who'd buy it whatever was on the cover.

The most obvious change for me is the letters page. It used to be a real mix of subjects, now it's almost exclusively F1 and often poorly expressed fan mail rather than reasoned debate (although I enjoyed seeing the letter this week from Keith Oswin - that's a name that counjured up a few memories).

Of course, the standard of report is affected by what is being reported. As said earlier, the F1 content has gone up while the standard of racing has gone down. It seems it takes a lot more space to try to identify something interesting having happened, and the vast majority of it is about political wrangling that makes the Middle East look stable and friendly.

On the plus side, we seem to have got rid of those awful photo-shopped images - 'here's a picture of a car with someone's helmet plonked in so you can see what it would look like in the unlikely event that he does get the drive which is vaguely rumoured to be a possibility'.
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