Sad news for music magazine fans … after 10 years as a print mag, it is being reported that Blender magazine will cease publication immediately. Back in 1994, Blender started out as the world’s first CD-ROM publication (omg, remember those?) and then in 1997 it went online. In 1999 the magazine launched as a traditional print magazine and has offered, IMHO, some of the most interesting articles and has featured some of the better interviews and photoshoots with the hottest musicians of the day. But, alas, the mag has not been able to weather the failing economic climate and has had to shut down operations:
Alpha Media Group closed Blender magazine today, eliminating about 30 jobs and reducing its portfolio of titles to Maxim alone. The April issue of Blender out now will be its last. The decision, delivered to Blender staff in a meeting this morning, came as part of broader changes that also included the departure of Alpha co-CEO Glenn Rosenbloom and the integration of editorial staff for Maxim and Maxim Digital. The remaining CEO, Stephen Duggan, said in a company memo that the company was closing Blender with great sadness. “Since 2001, Blender has provided unmatched music coverage and entertainment news in its unique voice to a profoundly dedicated audience of music enthusiasts,” Mr. Duggan wrote. “We are particularly grateful to the sales team and to the tremendously talented editorial staff for their hard work and commitment to Blender.” Joe Levy, who was editor in chief at Blender, was named editor in chief of the combined Maxim editorial operation. Jim Kaminsky, Maxim magazine’s editor in chief, is leaving the company. Ben Madden continues as group publisher. Jay Woodruff, editor in chief of Maxim Digital, was named chief content officer at Maxim. After the changes, Alpha will continue to employ 134 staffers … Alpha tried to build Blender’s circulation, pushing its paid-circulation guarantee to 1 million from 800,000 at purchase. But copies distributed to public places such as waiting rooms grew the fastest, from 13,000 copies in the second half of 2007 to 100,000 a year later, according to company reports with the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Paid subscriptions fell 8% to 768,000, while newsstand sales declined 18% to 44,233. Ad pages at Blender also plunged 31% last year and another 57% from January through April, according to the Publishers Information Bureau and Media Industry Newsletter. Monthlies as a whole, by comparison, sank 12% last year and another 22% through April. Ad pages at Maxim fell 11% in 2008 and 37% from January through April. Mr. Duggan’s memo to staff blamed the global financial crisis but said the company would persevere. “Alpha Media Group is weathering the current economic difficulties, and we are confident that with the changes we are implementing, the company is in the strongest position possible to continue moving forward,” he said.
This is really sad news. To be honest, Blender was the only music mag that I really read from cover to cover. Each issue was usually jam packed with great articles and little blurbs that I really enjoyed. Not that it would’ve made a difference in the long run but had I known the mag was in such dire straits I would’ve reinstated my subscription. When I lived in Detroit, Blender was one of the mags that I faithfully subscribed to. This is really sad news. I’m not sure if there are many Blender magazine fans out there but this is really sad news for everyone :( Peace the Spork Out, Blender … you will be missed.
[Source, thanks Abby]