After being based in St. Louis for 122 years, the Sporting News has ceased publication here.

It was moved July 5 [2008] to Charlotte, NC., the home of its owner since 2006, American City Business Journals.

The venerable sports newspaper, founded in 1886 by Alfred H. Spink, had only about 30 employees left in its Chesterfield office at the end. More than half agreed to make the move but others decided to leave the company; three staffers were to stay here, working out of their homes.

The Spink family had run Sporting News for many decades with a wide readership that gave St. Louis national attention. It was called “The Bible of Baseball” because of the statistics it ran of the games, teams and players. It covered other sports as well, mainly football, hockey, horse racing and boxing. The print version will be reduced in September from a weekly to every two weeks.

American City publishes the St. Louis Business Journal and a variety of other business and sports publications. Last summer, it merged its online New York and St. Louis operations of to Charlotte.

The company said it was set to launch a new format on July 23 which would be the first free digital daily sports paper, called SportingNewsToday. This follows a trend of other publications to concentrate on their online communications in the face of increased competition from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and other web sites.

By Roy Malone

(Printed with permission of the St. Louis Journalism Review. Originally published 7/2008).