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Ironically, it was not for a lack of readers. In fact, MG Magazine had more subscribers than it could comfortably maintain, said editor and publisher Gregory J. Perigo. "Sadly, no publication can survive for long on single issue and subscription sales," he noted. "Advertising is needed to offset the cost of production, and with MG having been gone from the US marketplace for over 20 years now, that is becoming harder to hold on to."
Compounding the problem, Perigo noted, is that unlike many other marques, MG is unique in that there are several distinct clubs, or "registers," serving the MG market. To those who support the MG hobby, that is an issue, he said. "Candidly, many of our advertisers are fighting for their own survival, too," he noted.
"Most marques are served by one or two distinct clubs that cover the entire spectrum of ownership," Perigo noted. "Here in North America we have far more than that, and all are competing against each other for dwindling shares of advertising dollars. In the end, we are cannibalizing each other."
Perigo hopes to secure an arrangement with another publishing group to honor all outstanding subscriptions.
Enthusiastically supported by Cecil Kimber, the legendary general manager of MG Cars, the title originally appeared in 1933 as the MG MaGazine, and was underwritten in part by MG Cars, Ltd. It debuted on a bi-monthly basis in 1933, and was the first magazine to be solely devoted to the marque. Publication ceased in 1935 with the advent of Safety Fast!, the official publication of the MG Car Club.
In the spring of 1979, the title was revived by British Leyland USA as MG Magazine, the Official Publication for MG Owners, and this new magazine quickly became a success, establishing a firm foundation among MG lovers. But in October, 1980, production of MG cars ceased at Abingdon-on-Thames, England, which meant that no more new MGs were being shipped to the US. As a result, publication of the magazine stopped.
Such was the outcry that British Leyland decided to revive the title yet again as MG Magazine, the Official Publication for MG Enthusiasts, an independent, advertising supported publication devoted wholly to "…the Preservation of the MG Marque." This meant not only to help the thousands of MG owners maintain, preserve and restore their cars but also to advocate for the return of MG to the United States.
In the Spring of 1981 MG Magazine received British Motor Heritage Industry Trust approval for the use of the MG logo (ironically, that honor was renewed earlier this summer) and the new, expanded independent "Premier" issue was launched by the founder and editor, John Dugdale. In time, many of the most prominent automotive journalists would make contributions to its content. Included among them were David Ash; Anders Ditlev Clausager; Malcolm Green; David Knowles; Dick Knudson; John Dugdale; Phil Hill; Stirling Moss; Mike Allison; John Thornley; F. Wilson McComb; and F. Rivers Fletcher, among others.
"It is a testament to the enthusiasm of MG owners that MG Magazine was able to endure for 22 years without any corporate support whatsoever," Perigo noted. "This is a devastating blow to the momentum of the MG movement in North America."
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