NME ceases weekly print publication after 66 years

Sad news today from The Guardian about a British musical institution who did have at least a passing interest in americana from time time. The entrance of the local library will look a little more bare next week. They report: “The NME is to cease publication in print after 66 years, the weekly music title joining a growing list of once mighty magazine brands that now only exist online.The NME.com website will continue, replacing the print edition’s cover star interview with a new weekly digital franchise, The Big Read. The NME will continue to keep a sporadic presence in print with special issues such as its paid-for series NME Gold, to cater for music stars’ appetite for appearing in a printed product.

In 2015, the magazine stopped being a paid title after a decade of sales declines saw its circulation drop to just 15,000. It relaunched as an ad-funded, free title with a circulation of 300,000 in a last throw of the strategic dice for the print edition.

“Our move to free print has helped propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.com,” said Paul Cheal, the UK group managing director, music, at NME publisher Time Inc. “We have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

Time Inc UK is consulting with the NME’s 23 editorial and commercial staff about possible redundancies.

NME, which has been printed weekly since 1952, managed to make money as a brand overall through spin-off activities such as awards and events.

“NME will also be exploring other opportunities to bring its best-in-class music journalism to market in print,” Time Inc UK said.”


About Mark Whitfield 2032 Articles
Editor of Americana UK website, the UK's leading home for americana news and reviews since 2001 (when life was simpler, at least for the first 253 days)
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Jonathan Aird

NME really died several years ago, but well, that’s it then – Melody Maker, Sounds, and NME. The weekly music press is officially dead. Pity.

The Wicked Messenger

Yeah – I was a regular puchaser in the days of the Lone Groover. The NME was essential reading for any serious music fan.