Performing Songwriter has announced that the June 2009 issue will be it's last.
Editor Lydia Hutchinson, who founded the magazine 16 years ago, said that she often wondered what the end would look like. In a letter on the magazine's website she writes:
I’ve talked for years about the beauty of independence. The fact is, it’s not the easiest road to take, but it’s the one with the biggest payoff in life experience, sense of purpose and whatever control life actually allows us. If there’s a train coming down the track we don’t need to have a meeting about what to do, when to do it and then vote on it. We don’t have to wait until the third or fourth car rolls over us, bloodied and barely hanging on, for some decision to come down telling us what to do. We simply step off the rails, fully intact.It's unclear if the magazine will continue to have an online presence like the route that No Depression went after stopping publication last year.
At the same time, Radio and Records, a prominent music industry trade magazine has quit publication and will merge operations with Billboard.biz. R+R was bought by the Nielsen/Billboard enterprise back in 2006.
In the troubled world of print publications, music mag Blender is the latest to call it quits. The magazine was a glossy pop culture mag, but included serious music feature articles and decent record reviews. Blender follows No Depression which threw in the towel last year, in becoming an online only publication.
No Depression published it\'s first issues in 1995, the same year that Emmy Lou Harris released her Daniel Lanois produced popular reinvention album Wrecking Ball, and Wilco released their first record AM. The name came from the first Uncle Tupelo record and the magazine was the un-official home of contemporary alt-country music, a term that they begrudgingly embraced.
As of this year\'s summer issue, the magazine will be no more. This was truly an artist friendly and independent publication, and it will be sad to see it go.
There is an interesting letter on their website about the current struggles of niche print publications, and specifically the struggles of music publications, related to the troubles in the music distribution business and shrinking advertising budgets of record labels.