By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch

After less than six months of publication, the Boston Globe on Friday informed its “OT” magazine staff that the weekly publication will cease immediately.

The Globe confirmed the closure with this posted at 8:07 p.m. as Shots was working the story. Four part-time editors and designers were let go according to Johnny Diaz’s story. Part-timer Mark Cofman, who edited the magazine, is among those relieved of duties. The four part-timers cited completely ignores the contributors who were also affected including: Maureen Mullen (Red Sox), Tom Wilcox (Patriots), Scott Souza (Celtics) and Danny Picard (Bruins).

Two Globe sources confirmed the decision to Scott’s Shots on Friday evening before the Globe posted its piece, although it is still not known whether any form of title will continue on-line . The Diaz story only says that Chad Finn and Tony Massarotti will continue their work with Boston.com and the paper.

The story neglects to address what the sell-through on the thin, 13,500-copy run each week was, only claiming to have been available at 400 outlets.

Voice and email messages left for Globe spokesman Bob Powers in the 7:30 p.m. hour – before the Globe posted its excuse article – were not returned as of posting time. An email to Sports Editor Joe Sullivan was also not returned. Both are quoted in the Diaz press release story.

Emails to a few “OT” staffers were not immediately returned either.

It would appear the oversized, newsprint tab fell short of both sports editor Joe Sullivan’s and VP of strategic planning Jay Fogarty’s high hopes from when the publication’s birth was announced in late September of last year.

Fogarty may have sealed the magazine’s fate when he boasted of the new publication: “”It reads more like a Sports Illustrated than a daily newspaper.”

As Shots pointed out at the time:

There shouldn’t be a single new media venture that tries to emulate SI because SI doesn’t even know what it is right now. Fogarty needed to emphasis the additional avenue that OT gives advertisers to get into people’s homes – and stay there for a week. The Globe’s ability to package its print and digital offerings is what will ultimately decide whether “OT” has a sudden death or a long life.

That packaging evidently never was produced.

Ironically, the magazine had just received its best injection of buzz with Chad Finn’s widely discussed piece on WEEI. Insiders, however, say the magazine was too much of a financial drain and indicated newsstand sales were weak at best. Clearly the Bob Lobel Addition” wasn’t a boon.

• Once again, the Globe and it sports department decision-makers are guilty of not reading tea leaves properly and not giving a new concept a true chance at success. The recently reincarnated “Globe 10.0″ got virtually no support during its NESN run from a marketing standpoint and OT was treated to in-house ads and not much noticeable advertising beyond that. The web-based “Globe 10.0″ will almost assuredly suffer the same fate without a title sponsor and/or 15-second ad spots. (It hasn’t helped any that Bob Ryan has been on what Tony Massarotti termed in Friday’s webisode “sabbatical.” The draw of the show is Ryan and to have him miss substantial parts of the first two weeks of the offering is poor planning. Lack of explanation only compounds the problem.)

• The print run was shockingly small and it says a lot about how big a failure the attempt was. Not being able to cover costs on that likely is a sign that sell-through was abosllutley abysmal and that advertising revenue was close to nil. The venture didn’t even get six months to prove itself.

David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.

Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009 and is now available for pre-order.