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Rotating Mass Media winding down Bicycle Times website

Published January 4, 2019

PITTSBURGH (BRAIN) — Close to two years after suspending its print edition and moving exclusively online, Bicycle Times’ website is winding down, with content migrating over to the website and print magazine of fellow Rotating Mass Media title Dirt Rag.

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“We’ll incorporate as much of the content into Dirt Rag as far as the more adventure, bikepacking, gravel type of content. Dirt Rag is much stronger than Bicycle Times, so we’ll build our viewership over there,” founder and publisher Maurice Tierney told BRAIN. “We’re going to be missing some of the utility and commuter content (from Bicycle Times) — that probably won’t make it over to Dirt Rag in the near future. With our small staff, it’s important that we keep our energy focused.”

Bicycle Times ceased print publication with its 46th issue in March 2017 following about three years of declining advertising sales. But since shifting its focus online, traffic to the website has dropped off, Tierney noted.

“There was still interest from the industry to advertise on the Bicycle Times website. However, we weren’t getting the number of hits. When you spend a day or longer writing an article and it only gets so many hits, it just wasn’t worth it. It didn’t generate the readership to extract value from advertising,” he said.

“We need to focus on our core, which is Dirt Rag. We still have a print magazine with Dirt Rag and advertising support is strong there, so we have to keep our editorial energy and sales focus there.”

Rotating Mass is also looking to expand the events side of its business, which this year includes two Dirt Rag Dirt Fests in May in Pennsylvania and in July in West Virginia. Those events typically draw 1,500 to 3,000 participants, and Tierney said he’s looking into new locations in the Southern and Western regions of the U.S. to add some smaller events to Rotating Mass’ calendar. Another full-scale festival could be added in 2020, he noted.

Dirt Rag will also celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. “We’re really stoked to be able to continue to do that, and we’re thankful for all the industry support we get,” Tierney said.

Topics associated with this article: Media/Publishing

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