In what’s becoming a familiar refrain in 2008, Resonance magazine, a small, well-regarded independent music magazine, has called it quits.
“The financial challenge of publishing an independent magazine finally overwhelmed us,” publisher Andrew Monko wrote in a long note to subscribers. “Independent publishing has always been a challenge; the recent couple of years, however, have been a much greater struggle due a number of factors, not the least of which include: downturns in the magazine and music industries; rising paper, production and postage costs; the list goes on.
“We’ve always been a small-budget business, but we nonetheless made additional spending cuts wherever possible, many of them painful,” Monko continued. “In the past we had survived the lean times by borrowing on credit to cover shortfalls, but these gaps have been steadily increasing to an unmanageable degree. I believed we would manage financially, like usual, by the skin of our teeth. Our debt finally reached its limit.”
The Seattle-based quarterly title launched in 1994 and was in the middle of publishing its 55th issue—now available in digital-only form online. (Resonance had just completed a redesign with its 54th issue; the shuttering, Monko wrote, came as “a harsh and sudden shock.”)
The end of Resonance follows on the heels of the shutterings of a pair of other small niche music titles. In February, Seattle-based alternative country music magazine No Depression folded. The magazine’s financial downturn was “not looking like a storm that we could wait out," co-founder Peter Blackstock said at the time.
Last month, Harp’s parent company filed for bankruptcy and folded the magazine.
Monko is negotiating to have Resonance’s subscriptions fulfilled by another music title. “I know this is not ideal,” Monko wrote. “I am sorry.”