Britain’s iconic weekly music bible NME is to halt publication in print after 66 years after its owners admitted it was “no longer financially viable.”
The final edition of the magazine, which was the first publication in Britain to feature a hit singles chart, will roll off the presses on Friday (9 March) after its publishers citing rising production costs and the “tough” advertising market.
The NME.com website, which was launched in 1996, will be kept running.
Time Inc UK, the publishers of the NME, which has been a free title since 2015, said they were consulting with its 23 editorial and commercial staff about possible redundancies.
Paul Cheal, Time Inc UK’s group managing director, said: “NME is one of the most iconic brands in British media and our move to free print has helped to propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.com.
“The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of.
“At the same time, we’ve also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market.
“Unfortunately, we’ve now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable.
“It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”
Keith Walker, digital director of NME, said: “NME has been at the digital forefront for more than two decades. Our global digital audience has almost doubled over the past two years.
“With these new developments, we are giving consumers even more of what they want from us. By making the digital platforms our core focus, we can accelerate the amazing growth we’ve seen and reach more people than ever before on the devices they’re most naturally using.”
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