Editor Of ESPN The Magazine Asks Staff To Vote In Meaningless Online Poll So They Can Beat Sports Illustrated For Meaningless Bragging Rights

Times are tough in magazine land! Ad pages are dropping, magazines are folding, Newsweek is just a pile of bones and vitamin cover stories bleaching in the noonday sun, etc. You know the drill. So there's a little practice that's become very popular in magazine land over the last couple of years that's as sad as it is understandable: If you're an editor or publisher, you get your magazine voted near the top of an internet poll. It won't matter much, but every little bit counts—even for an ESPN property.

ESPN The Magazine editor Chad Millman sent an email to staff on Thursday telling everyone to vote for the magazine in Ad Week's online Hot List poll. And why? Carrie Kreiswerth, an ESPN communications person, told Millman that Sports Illustrated was kicking its ass. "Let's change that!" she writes. Here's the email. Click to enlarge:

Editor Of ESPN The Magazine Asks Staff To Vote In Meaningless Online Poll So They Can Beat Sports Illustrated For Meaningless Bragging Rights

Doesn't look like it's changed much. As of this writing, the "Best publication for the sports nut" poll does have SI at a considerable lead.

Sports Illustrated 43.01%
ESPN The Magazine 16.24%
Outside 10.77%
Golf Digest 8.67%
Runner's World 5.48%
Backpacker 4.94%
Field & Stream 3.91%
Outdoor Life 3.41%
Sporting News 1.81%
Bicycling 1.03%
Golf 1%

(Poor Golf).

And what about the magazine competition that actually matters? Sports Illustrated is down 3 percent in ad pages for the year, which isn't great but beats the industry average decline of 8 percent. Meanwhile, ESPN The Magazine? In its first full year after relocating to Bristol from New York, ad pages are down 27 percent.