Middle-aged men will now have to find something else to read while listening to their vinyl records with the news that the next issue of The Word magazine will be the last. David Hepworth, the publisher, writes:
In the nine years since the magazine launched … dramatic changes in the media and the music business … have made it more difficult for a small independent magazine to survive.
Replace the phrase ‘a small independent’ with the word ‘any’ and you’re right on the money, Dave.
Ping! An email arrives with news from inside Loaded headquarters talking about producing an issue with hardly any staff (“one full time writer working alongside a junior designer”), a lack of investment, and morale at, unsurprisingly, subterranean levels. My correspondent was particularly struck by the embarrassment that is the magazine’s latest cover.
You have to feel sorry for poor old Loaded. Once a title that sold nearly half a million copies an issue and which established a whole new category of publishing, it was dumped by IPC to the supremely dodgy Vitality Publishing whose own fire sale of assets passed the title to Paul Baxendale-Walker, a character for whom the epithet ‘colourful’ hardly does justice.
Whether you liked the content or not, the early Loaded was a product that had energy, wit, daring and flair. Unfortunately its later iterations, and the me-too publications that were spawned, failed to capture this spirit, each product chasing the others down to the bottom of the market.
And sales have followed suit. Down, down, down have gone the sales for FHM, Nuts, Zoo and the others; it’s a category in terminal decline.
The most telling fact is that whether Loaded survives for six months or six years longer is an irrelevance to almost everybody. Where once it was admired, hated, copied and discussed, it is now ignored or pitied, which is a tragedy of sorts.
It’s been a bad time for the dead (although a good time for collectors of dead magazines). After Haunted magazine gave up the ghost, news comes that Ghost Voices have joined the choir invisible.
Is anybody there?
Ping! The inbox at email@example.com receives an unsubstantiated rumour (my favourite kind):
According to my correspondent, INK Publishing plans to make editorial/design people redundant as it prepares to close Voyager, Yeah Baby! and CNBC Business.
Voyager and YeahBaby! are the inflight magazines of respectively BMI and BMI Baby. With the BMI takeover by BA, the brands and the magazines are flying south.
CNBC Business is a monthly that used to be called CNBC European Business and was Ink’s attempt to get a business title on the newsstands to rival Businessweek. CNBC have apparently pulled the plug on the magazine and ad revenues alone aren’t enough to sustain it.
Confirmation or rebuttals to the usual address…
Hot on the heels of Press Gazette going quarterly, Progressive Media are closing idFX “the only source for professional interior design inspiration“.
[thanks to FeaturesExec’s Media Bulletin]