The unaccustomed ashes of failure will be leaving a sour taste in the mouth of Rupert Murdoch after giving the thumbs down to News Corporation’s nascent US magazine division whose sole property is Maximum Golf – launched less than two years ago to test the market.

The axing has been delegated to Murdoch junior, Lachlan, deputy chief operating officer at NewsCorp and personally responsible for the magazine division. He yesterday informed members of the magazine’s editorial staff that it was up for sale.

Other than the general malaise sweeping the US magazine sector, it is not known what triggered Murdoch’s decision to quit the magazine market. On the face of it, Maximum Golf is not doing badly and recently hiked its readership rate base to 360,000 from 300,000. Following its first twelve months of continuous publication, the title had also filed for its first Audit Bureau of Circulations certification.

Among those said to be interested in acquiring the property are AOL Time Warner, whose publishing interests include Golf magazine and over sixty other consumer titles, and London-headquartered Dennis Publishing whose diverse stable ranges from raunchy lads-mag Maxim to PC Pro, a title targeting professional and business computer-users.

News source: New York Times