End Of An Era: NSSN Ceasing Publication
All good things come to an end.
And so is the case for America’s Motorsports Authority, National Speed Sport News. After more than 76 years, the publication, which was first published as National Auto Racing News on Aug. 16, 1934, has printed its last issue, dated — March 23, 2011.
While hundreds of other newspapers came and went during the past three-quarters of a century, NSSN continued to ride the support of its readers and advertisers in producing the most thorough weekly racing publication on the market. But economic times have been tight and the newspaper business has suffered at the hands of high production costs and modern technology, which provides information to readers instantly.
“This is one of the saddest days of my life,” said National Speed Sport News Publisher Corinne Economaki. “The sluggish economy has made it too difficult to continue publication and no matter how I try to make the numbers work — and believe me I have tried — it is just not feasible to keep the business going.
“For 76 years, since August 1934 when my father Chris sold copies of the first issue at Ho-Ho-Kus Speedway in northern New Jersey, to today, as I oversee the very last copy printed, this paper has been an integral part of my family,” Corinne Economaki said.
Through the years National Speed Sport News was the industry leader in covering motorsports, much of it thanks to Chris Economaki, 90, who sold the first issue of NSSN at Ho-Ho-Kus Speedway in New Jersey, and began writing for the publication soon after that and became editor in 1950.
Economaki saw the publication through its glory days, launching a career on television and taking his newspaper into thousands of homes across America. In a time when there was no Internet and very little racing was on television or radio, National Speed Sport News thrived.
When National Speed Sport News began its run, there were no seat belts, drivers wore leather helmets and the flathead Ford V8 was one of the most common racing engines. Today, safety is the utmost concern and HANS and other safety devices are all the rage. Fuel-injected engines are everywhere.
Not only has technology changed what fans see at the race track, it changed how NSSN gathered the news. In the early years most news arrived at the NSSN office by mail or telephone. Later the telecopier and the fax machine played key roles. Both were replaced by the computer modem and later by e-mail.
NSSN was printed by linotype, but later changed to phototypesetting and finally went completely digital in 2002.
But after enduring all these changes, a familiar friend will no longer appear at the mailboxes of its loyal readers.
NationalSpeedSportNews.com, the online version of the newspaper, will continue to be updated with daily news, giving Internet savvy readers the opportunity to keep up with some of the same news they enjoyed every week.
But as far as the newspaper goes, it’s the end of an era.