Wednesday, June 3, 2009

R.I.P. Performing Songwriter

More bad news from the magazine industry. After 16 years, Performing Songwriter Magazine is shuttering. Founder and editor Lydia Hutchinson announced on the magazine's website today that the June issue will be the last. Sadness.

According to Hutchinson's letter, it's mostly because of the economy, but partly because they decided they wanted to end things on their terms. Publishing euthanasia, in other words.

It's a damn shame, Performing Songwriter is a solid publication. It will be missed. Beyond that though, it's another nail in the coffin of the magazine industry. I'm reminded of a book I read a few years ago, called On the Beach, by Nevil Schute. Basically, there had been a nuclear war and the world was ending. Most of the entire world's population had died, but the fallout hadn't quite spread to Australia yet, where the action takes places. Fallout was inevitable. Death was eminent. The whole time you're reading the book, you feel helpless because you know how it's going to end and it's only a matter of time.

Magazines are dropping like flies. I'm still optimistic that Paste will be able to hang on until the economy picks up again, but in the meantime, careers are dissolving and life is going to get harder for many families. I wonder who will be next and who will be left standing. Similalry to On the Beach, I don't want to finish the book... but there's not much of a choice, is there?


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