NYT weekend glossy Play-ed out

Play, The New York Times‘ quarterly sports magazine, has been shuttered.

The glossy, launched in February 2006, had been “breaking even,” the Times reported, thanks to successful ad sales in its Summer Olympics issue, but was closed as part of a cost-saving measure. The November issue, distributed as a weekend insert at the beginning of the month, was the last.

“Certainly this is a very difficult economic period, and we are looking for ways to reduce costs,” Times spokesperson Catherine Mathis said in a statement.

New York Times Co. has no plans to cut its other weekend magazines, such as travel publication T. Inserts such as Play, T and T Styles were created by the Times as a lure for high-end advertisers, and have been largely successful for the publisher — many posted double-digit ad growth in 2007. The current economic climate, however, has proven a challenge even for the highest-end consumers and advertisers.

Play was written and edited by outside contractors and freelancers, so its closing will not affect Times employees.

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