New York Regional Arts Magazine Cites Market for Demise
Poor Ad Sales Behind End to Chronogram's Capital Edition
Albany Times Union
BETHLEHEM, NY — After six issues, the arts and culture magazine Chronogram has folded its Capital Region edition.
A lack of money, an “unrealistic schedule” and a lackluster advertising market brought production to a halt, said publisher Jason Stern. He said the December issue, which hit coffee shops, art galleries and retail boutiques in late November, would be the last.
“It was a self-funded, boot-strap effort and the funds were limited,” Stern, 36, said Thursday. “We pushed it as far as it would go while seeking additional funding.”
The thickly bound, glossy journal featured content on and by players in the Capital Region’s creative world. There were articles, essays and reviews on area musicians, writers and artists.
There also was wellness and political content shared between the Capital Region and Hudson Valley editions.
The company will continue to publish its Hudson Valley edition, which launched in 1993.
Stern began the Capital Region project about a year ago, with the help of a handful of partners. He declined to say how much they have put into the magazine.
Stern was 22 when he founded Chronogram in the Hudson Valley. At the time, he and a partner paid themselves practically nothing and worked grueling hours to get the magazine off the ground.
With the Capital Region edition, Stern rented offices and hired a staff of seven in the months before the first edition hit the streets.
“We needed to launch the Capital Region edition full-grown, like Athena from the head of Zeus,” he said.
Mark Joseph Kelly was one of five partners involved in the Capital Region edition. He said that with a conservative advertising market and spiraling costs, the magazine was impossible to support. The partners decided to cease publication rather than change the format or find ways to cut expenses.
“To cut costs and cut the quality of the project is something we will not do,” Kelly said. “We are not interested in putting out a newspaper version of Chronogram.”
Chronogram aimed for a middle-class, educated clientele. The editorial circle was tight-knit, with many of its featured subjects also doubling as writers.
The cover of each issue was a replica of a locally created artwork.
The magazine had a Capital Region circulation of 25,000. The seven-person staff here, which included editor Timothy Cahill and six advertising and business agents, were laid off Wednesday night.
Kelly held out hope the Capital Region Chronogram might someday return.
“We are not shutting down completely,” he said. “In some form or fashion, the brand will re-emerge.” Furfaro can be reached at 454-5097 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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