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Hold the closing sign! Although it was announced last week by magazine publisher Robert Petersen that Sports Afield’s last issue would be June of this year, it appears as if potential suitors are coming out of the woodwork. The magazine has been published since 1887, classing it as a venerable institution of outdoor publishing. Hearst owned the magazine for nearly 30 years, but nearly deep-sixed it when, in a moment of cluelessness, the publishers decided that they’d rather be going after a Gen-X group than the hunters and fishers they’d been catering to for, oh, half a century. The experiment failed miserably and Petersen — yes, that same Petersen that sold Guns & Ammo magazine along with other Petersen Publication Inc. titles in 1996 — purchased the book in early 2000. Circulation at the time was a reported 460,000. Editor in Chief and company VP Chris Dorsey told SNEWS® that since Petersen acquired Sports Afield, newsstand sales have increased 20 percent and ad revenues were up significantly — though apparently not enough to satisfy Petersen. Under Petersen’s guidance, the book has expanded by branding itself into a television show, a radio show, a video series, as well as nationally syndicated newspaper columns. It is that growth that has captured the eyes of investors since word of the book ceasing publication hit the streets. According to Dorsey, they’ve be inundated with emails since last Thursday, many from readers offering to contribute money for shares of the book to keep it alive. Word from Dorsey is that a number of serious buyers are currently doing the interview circuit and a decision as to who a buyer will be could be announced soon. Dorsey also told SNEWS® that they could quickly put out the next issue of Sports Afield — either July or August.