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Sports Illustrated Women is Saying Farewell


It is with especially deep sadness that we tell you the bad news: The December 2002 issue will be Sports Illustrated Women's last. These are tough times for a new magazine, and sometimes even loyal readers aren't enough to make the numbers add up. We thank you for visiting our Web site and invite you to read the parting column of SI Women's managing editor:

Contrary to what you may have heard, the world is not divided into hemispheres and continents. Let's say (for the purposes of this column anyway), that it's divided into people like you -- readers of this magazine -- and everyone else.

What makes you different? Where to begin? This is my 12th issue and I definitely feel that I know you through your e-mails and letters and stories and pictures. Two thousand four hundred of you joined our reader advisory panel, weighing in on everything from why you love snowboarding to what kind of music you listen to while you're driving. So many of you e-mailed us so often that our company's researchers pronounced you the most passionate and responsive group of readers ever. (This is no small feat at Time Inc., the world's largest magazine publisher.) As the rest of the world casually flipped through magazines in their dentists' offices, you were making this one a part of your lives. While others might take in Yosemite from the safety of an air-conditioned tour bus, you hiked Half Dome, had your picture taken at the summit waving your promotional SI Women towel, and sent us the photo. (Thank you, Kat Seuss.)

In the first of these columns, I set our mission as covering "women for whom sport is not a means to an end -- an ab or a biceps -- but a way of living one's life." That description, it turns out, fit you perfectly. And for us, hearing what you were up to made coming into work every day fun. That, and the enviable job of getting to write stories about every sort of athlete, from established stars like Annika Sorenstam to dedicated amateurs like Alyssa Ann Rosati, who earned a black belt in karate -- at age six.

You told us what you loved about SI Women -- seeing strong, inspiring characters on our pages rather than models -- and what you didn't. (Note to angry figure skating fans: You win. You're right. Their outfits aren't silly. Not at all.)

It's good news when a magazine attracts the finest group of readers anyone could dream up. Thus, it is with especially deep sadness that I tell you the bad news: This issue will be SI Women's last. These are tough times for a new magazine, and sometimes even loyal readers aren't enough to make the numbers add up. It's my fierce hope that we'll be back someday, in some form. In the meantime, please stay in touch. The e-mail address is still working, and I read every letter that is sent in. Let me know what you think we did right and what we might have done better and just what's on your mind in general. Because even if this is my last column, I'll still be listening.

--Susan Casey, managing editor SI Women

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