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ESPN The Magazine to cease publication in September

The Blackhawks on the cover of ESPN The Magazine in 2009.

After more than two decades on newsstands, ESPN The Magazine will soon cease to exist — in a traditional printed format, anyways.

ESPN said in a statement Tuesday that it will stop publishing its flagship magazine in September, ending its 21-year run as one of the most popular sports magazines on the market.

The company said the September release of “The Body Issue” will be its last, though it will “explore releasing tentpole collections such as Body” in print in the future.

“Consumer habits are evolving rapidly, and this requires ESPN to evolve as well,” ESPN said in its statement. “The only change here is that we are moving away from printing it on paper and sending it in the mail.”

The first edition of ESPN The Magazine was published in 1998, more than 40 years after Sports Illustrated — the other prominent sports magazine in circulation — first hit newsstands. But Sports Business Journal reported the magazine has lost money annually for ESPN in recent years, as readers have more frequently turned to its website.