There is truth to this too, I mean it could always be a hail marry to try and save their failing brand. Wouldn't surprise me considering how many mags have died in the last 10 years. Look at what happened to Hot Rod.
A lot of them have fallen by the wayside due to the younger generations preferring to go with online versions. With something like SI or Hot Rod you'd think their publication numbers would still be good and sustainable since they're catering to the older generation. However with Hot Rod, some of that generation is dying off and their subscription base is falling off.
Also hard to compete with car sites and forums that are free while you're wanting to charge anywhere from $50-100/yr for a paper periodical.