Maritime Publication Fairplay Closes After 135 Years

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Maritime shipping publication Fairplay has sent its final issue to the press after its announcement in September that it would cease publication after 135 years in operation.

Its closure comes after a reorganization of IHS Markit’s maritime media unit, which is parent to IHS Fairplay. 

IHS Fairplay has been the flagship maritime title of London-based IHS Markit’s media business. The publication primarily targets shipowners and ship managers and has been in publication since 1883. The brand was formerly known as Lloyd’s Register–Fairplay until it was acquired by IHS in 2011 and renamed Fairplay IHS. IHS later merged with Markit Ltd, forming IHS Markit in 2016.

According to Stuart Strachan, Senior Vice-President of Maritime and Trade at IHS Markit, the ‘very’ competitive market and challenges of print as a medium were behind the decision to close Fairplay.

“Despite investment and concerted efforts to build an online community and maritime events, we have been unable to generate growing circulation, subscription, and event revenues,” Strachan said in a press release in September. “Not unlike many print-based brands, we haven’t gained sufficient traction with these efforts.”

A statement on IHS Fairplay’s website said stories are no longer being loaded onto Fairplay.IHS.com as of November 26th. The final print edition of Fairplay will be published on December 6.

Fairplay executive editor Nicola Good said, “It’s been a pleasure to work with such a talented and dedicated group of people and I take immense pride in some of our recent projects – Accomplished Women in Maritime and Tonnage Titans – as well as our biweekly print edition, which I believe is one of the strongest in the industry.”

IHS Markit’s restructured business unit will be organized around sister brands Safety at Sea and Dredging and Port Construction.

The end of Fairplay comes about five years after shipping publication Lloyd’s List ceased its print operations in favor of a completely digital service. Launching in a London coffee shop in 1734, Lloyd’s List became known as one of the world’s longest continuously published newspapers. Lloyd’s List is owned by UK-based Informa plc.