Australia’s longest-running magazine, The Bulletin, has been shut down, ending its 128-year history.I got this story from LP, where there's a decent conversation going about the whole thing. It seems Australia's longest-running current affairs magazine - almost the only one, in fact - The Bulletin is closing down. It's been losing revenue for years, and the owners have decided that it's time to do away with it for good.
The magazine’s publisher ACP Magazines - part of the PBL Media empire part-owned by James Packer - announced this morning that the edition of The Bulletin that went on sale yesterday would be its last.
ACP chief executive Scott Lorson blamed the closure of recent circulation figures of 57,039 - about half the sales from the mid-1990s - and “the impact of the internet” on the magazine’s demise.
Sad news, obviously, but I can't help but wonder what Tim Blair might have to say about this. Blair was a freelance contributor to The Bulletin, and then assistant editor, for a period of several years. When I first started reading his blog, maybe in late 2001, he was associated with the magazine, and he only broke that association off in 2007, to take up a job as opinions editor at the Daily Telegraph. After Blair left, he made a few posts alluding to staffing and organisation troubles at The Bulletin, like this one, where he runs a snippet from a news item about the magazine, and notes that 'The place ain't happy, for lots of reasons.'
I can't help but wondering if he'd guessed, beforehand, that the magazine wasn't going to last much longer. He'd have a few interesting things to say about the whole affair, being one of the few Aussie bloggers with an insider perspective from mainstream media. His ongoing opinion column ('The Continuing Crisis') always struck me as being rather quixotic and eccentric for a staid publication like The Bulletin, running things like a Mark Latham board game. Maybe it makes a bit better sense if seen as a kind of last hurrah. (I'm being a bit speculative here.) Blair's in hospital recovering from a bowel cancer operation (get well soon, Tim!). Maybe he'll have something to offer when he gets out.
Anyway, head on over to LP, where the conversation is centring around the reasons for closure, and some interesting comparisons are being made to US and net-only publications. Or not.