Factory Media, the parent company of fifteen websites and magazines, including six cycling titles, is entering liquidation, road.cc has learned.
Factory, which was founded in 2006, owned and operated Road Cycling UK, Total Women’s Cycling, Ride UK, Dirt Mountain Bike and Bike Magic, all of which are likely to close following the news.
In a letter to creditors, dated 6 September 2018, Factory’s administrators wrote that, due to its “financial position” the director decided to place it into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.
Following the shock news today, readers and contributors paid tribute to the magazines in Factory's stable.
Cartoonist Dave Walker, known for his cartoons featuring observations of cyclists' rituals, quirks and daily lives, said he got his first break for Mpora magazine.
Sad news - Factory Media / Mpora were the only cycling publication to show an interest in my cycling cartoons when I started drawing them. https://t.co/h3c12dLlLS
— Dave Walker (@davewalker) September 8, 2018
Women's editor of Bike Radar, Aoife Glass, said it was "Such a shame: so many people worked SO hard on those titles and they still have great reputations". She name-checked Dirt Magazine, Total Women's Cycling and Road Cycling UK, adding "I hope they live on somehow, and I hope all staff and freelancers get any monies owed.
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan, who was editor of Total Women's Cycling until early last year, called the news "sad" and said it was a "disappointment for all the incredible people who worked there".
Journalist John Stevenson, road.cc’s product guides guru, edited Total Women’s Cycling for its first three months.
He said: "There was a brilliant, fabulous community around that site, and Factory Media never quite seemed to harness that enthusiasm."
Stevenson, who is a veteran of the cycle industry, added: “I can’t think of any situation where a specialist title's publisher has gone under and the title survived.”
Gosh, that is sad news. There's been some great writing on the site over the years. TWC invited me to write my first piece about cycling and depression about 5yrs ago too.
— Sarah Strong (@Opiumia) September 8, 2018
Other readers paid tribute to the magazines' impact on their lives, and communities.
This is so sad - some of these mags defined my life. In particular Sidey was an absolute lifeline for skaters in small towns and villages when I was growing up. Showed this amazing inspirational world of skating, with brilliant photography and funny, unique writing. https://t.co/VTM816tDNf
— Nic Stevenson (@nicstevenson) September 8, 2018
Commissioning Editor of Cyclist magazine, Peter Stuart, called it "awful news".
Factory Media was acquired by Square Up Media in January 2017, for an undisclosed sum of money. At the time, Press Gazette reported it had 65 full time employees across 20 brands. In 2015 it stopped producing print magazines to focus on online, digital and video production.