View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Publishers
  2. Magazines
March 8, 2018

NME faced ‘ongoing losses’ prior to print closure with staff facing threat of redundancy

By Freddy Mayhew and Arun Kakar

The NME faced “ongoing losses” prior to publisher Time Inc UK’s decision to stop printing the free weekly magazine from this Friday.

Staff face the threat of redundancy as a result of the switch in focus to the “digital space” with consultations now underway, although a spokesperson said it was too early to say how many would be affected.

NME has 17 editorial staff, including full-time freelancers, and six commercial staff.

A spokesperson said: “The market conditions meant that, [with] the print production costs and distribution costs, we were facing ongoing losses. That’s the reason it wasn’t viable [as a magazine].

“Although we anticipated the increased revenues we would get from the ad market, they did not increase to the levels that we originally forecast over the two-and-a-half year period that it was a free title.”

They added: “We didn’t see the market conditions improving.”

Staff whose positions are affected by the print closure could be found roles on other titles owned by Time Inc UK as part of the consultation process.

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

Press Gazette understands staff only found out about the closure yesterday and would have been working on content for the following week’s issue.

Time Inc UK, which last week was sold to a private equity firm for an undisclosed sum, has said it is now focusing “effort and investment” in digital to secure the brand’s future.

It will continue to publish content at NME.com and is launching a number of new services, including Internet radio station NME Audio.

According to the latest ABC circulation figures, NME distributed 289,432 copies a week. It also claims to have more than 13m global unique users per month, including 3m in the UK.

Following the announcement of the closure yesterday, reported by Press Gazette, tributes to the NME have poured in from musicians and journalists

Spandau Ballet singer Gary Kemp called the magazine his “bible” and said that it gave him an “identity”.

He tweeted: “In the 80s I made out I hated you but was thrilled when I made the cover. The inky press are dead, I said, but now you really are I’m sad.”

Danny Baker, who wrote regularly for the NME, added: “The NME never once asked me where I studied. Or what certificates I had. Or where I saw myself in five years.

“They just sent you to see some band and asked for 400 words on them. If they liked it they’d give you an album to review. Next thing you know you’re in New York.”

Ex-NME writers Tony Parsons and David Quantick wrote affectionate columns in the Sun and Telegraph respectively, whilst Guardian head rock and pop critic Alexis Petridis wrote that that the magazine’s “narrow musical focus in its later years doomed it to irrelevance”.

He said: “As it is, NME finds itself exiting the stage mourned exclusively by people old enough to remember a time when it seemed important. Sad to say, it seems unlikely you’ll find an 18-year-old in 2018 who cares much whether it exists or not.”

Other reactions from Twitter included:

 

Topics in this article :

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network