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Harp Magazine announces it's shutting down

Monday, March 17, 2008 – Harp Magazine, which started as a roots/Americana magazine, is closing its doors.

In an email sent last week, editor Scott Crawford wrote, "It's with a really heavy heart that I even have to write this. As many of you know, our cash flow had slowed recently. Due to various factors, including the current newsstand magazine slump, the majority shareholders of Guthrie Inc. Harp's parent company, have decided to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy."

The current March/April issue is the final issue of the seven-year-old magazine. The magazine will not continue on the web.

Crawford said the bankruptcy would be filed this week. Crawford could not be reached for comment.

Crawford started the magazine in 2001 and sold it several years later to Guthrie Inc., which also publishes JazzTimes. On Harp's web site, Glenn Sabin, Guthrie's CEO, said the publication struggled to become profitable. "We purchased Harp in 2003, and it quickly became a first class product that was highly acclaimed for its often irreverent editorial approach and strong graphical package. Unfortunately, Harp's critical acclaim never translated into sustaining commercial success. Harp's lifecycle was ill timed with the precipitous decline of the music software industry, coupled with the consolidation of the consumer magazine newsstand business and rising paper and postage costs."

The announcement comes during a spate of announced closings of magazines. No Depression announced in February it was shutting its magazine after the May/June issue. Last week, Bluegrass Now announced it was folding its magazine as well.

The magazine started covering similar territory as No Depression and Paste Magazine. The magazine eventually veered towards more of a rock direction. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, for example, is on the cover of the current issue. Other recent issues had White Stripes and Ween on the cover.

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