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Whither Paste Magazine?

Country Standard Time Editorial, June 2009

We know these are tough times out there, and the just received issue of Paste magazine underscores that. The magazine used to be your typical magazine size, but this magazine, which covers Americana music somewhat, appears to be on the ropes. That's the case at least if the new issue is any indication. Yes, they have the Avett Brothers on the cover with a new CD due out in August.

But beyond that, what sticks out, is this is now the size of TV Guide on an every other issue basis. There are only 44 pages and not so many ads. This does not, unfortunately, bode well for the magazine. The other six issues will be the current size.

Somehow the idea that the magazine was good for the long-term as the powers that be declared there in an email to readers in may seemed to stretch credulity. Given that they were looking to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from fans to tide them over. People stepped up - contributing about $166,000 within a week. That was a good start as the magazine needed about $300,000.

Publisher Nick Purdy is hopeful. "Our campaign is going well and the future looks bright," he said. "We're not totally done with raising money, but things are on a good track."

We wish Paste good fortune in trying to keep it going. Even if the magazine is able to continue, it's not what it once was unfortunately in terms of the look. It appears increasingly likely that if Paste is to survive, it's not going to be in hard copy. And the web is no sure thing either where advertising brings in less than print magazines, but is difficult to come by even at lower costs.

This would represent another blow for both the music and magazine industries, but hardly a surprise.