['Game Mag Weaseling' is a weekly column by Kevin Gifford which documents the history of video game magazines, from their birth in the early '80s to the current day.]

The report's been a-going around for a little while, originally being rumored way back in December -- Ziff Davis selling the 1UP digital network to the Hearst Corporation, owners of UGO.

The deal was reported on earlier today by paidContent.org (in an article that since got taken down but has been mirrored elsewhere).

But the thrust of it has since been confirmed by sources in and around the company itself. In addition to GSW sources broadly agreeing, ex-Ziff editorial supremo John Davison has noted that "details will be forthcoming as to the validity of the story by tomorrow morning." So we'll find out officially then.

[UPDATE: The EGM closure/1UP sale announcement is now official, and Gamasutra has it, plus the CEO email to staff, for those interested.]

Electronic Gaming Monthly, the last print publication Ziff produces after PC Magazine closed last month, is not going along for the ride, putting an end-point on nearly two decades of publishing and a print outlet that, at one point in 2004, had six titles published monthly at the same time.

The closing of EGM is the latest in what's become a common refrain in print media, one that's affected enthusiast publishing as much as any other genre. Ziff closed its Official PlayStation magazine in early 2007 and Games for Windows: The Official Magazine in April of 2008, leaving EGM and 1UP as the company's sole game assets.

The remaining American consumer game-mag titles in print -- GameStop's Game Informer, IDG's GamePro, Fusion Publishing's Play, and Future's PC Gamer, Nintendo Power, PlayStation: The Official Magazine and Official Xbox Magazine -- all face looming challenges in 2009, including dwindling ad pages, high paper costs, and an audience that increasingly sees less value in print magazines.

The January 2009 issue of EGM, shown above, is reported to be the last one to see print. The February issue is complete, and its content is slated to be distributed digitally, either in PDF format or in the form of articles on 1UP.com.

Undoubtedly this will be discussed in more detail by myself in my Game Mag Weaseling column this weekend.