The last Word - music monthly for grown-ups to close

Music monthly magazine The Word is to close it was announced this morning with seven staff journalists affected by the move.

Editorial director David Hepworth put the decision to close down to ‘dramatic changes in the media and the music business”.

He told Press Gazette the closure was due to ‘general conditions on the market and that includes sales and includes advertising…Much of the money came from the music business and the music business doesn’t advertise in the way it used to.”

The Word is produced by independent publisher Development Hell and had an audited monthly sale of 22,526 in 2011 (86 per cent of which was actively purchased). This compares with an ABC of 30,051 in 2004 when 66 per cent of copies were actively purchased.

The title has won numerous awards and been critically acclaimed.

Editor Mark Ellen described the title’s ethos by saying ‘we cover rock music, films, books and television for people old enough to still want something substantial to read”.

In his statement on the Word website, Hepworth said: ‘We regret to announce that the August issue of The Word, which will be published in the second week of July, will be the last.

‘In the nine years since the magazine launched there have been dramatic changes in the media and the music business. These changes have made it more difficult for a small independent magazine to survive and provide its staff with a living. This hasn’t been made any easier by the economic climate of the wider world.

‘We would like to thank all the staff members past and present, plus the writers, photographers, illustrators, artists, PRs and advertisers who have helped make the magazine what it has been. We also want to thank the backers who have supported us throughout.

‘Most of all we want to thank you, the readers. Your heartfelt involvement with the magazine – via its pages, its website, its events and its podcasts – have made the last nine years one of the most satisfying periods of our working lives. Mark has written about this in greater detail in the August issue

‘The website will remain open for the immediate future as a point of contact. We will be writing to subscribers with their copy of the August issue.

‘When we came up with that slogan – ‘The Word – a magazine, a website, a podcast, a way of life’ – we were being a bit tongue in cheek. But it was, wasn’t it?”

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