catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Is The Monthly sinking?

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In March 2004, long before it hit the newsagents, I predicted a life span for The Monthly of a year. That may be a bit pessimistic, but the signs aren’t good.

Despite three attempts to pay for a subscription – sending in the initial form, and then two reminders to charge my credit card – I am still getting it for free. If they refuse to take my money there’s not much I can do about it, but it hardly seems like a sustainable business model if this kind of thing is widespread.

With the November issue, after having been launched in May, the magazine had a substantial re-design. To my eyes, however, this was a mixed blessing. I like the typeface better, but there is now a lot of unaesthetic white space, giving it the look of a shop that can’t afford to fill its shelves.

Today, Crikey reports that editor Christian Ryan has left. Publisher Morry Schwartz was busy spinning:

Schwartz told Crikey that Ryan decided to “leave to pursue his writing.” But isn’t it a little early for a founding editor to leave a magazine like this? He was “always seen as a launch editor,” said Schwartz, and “when you see the Christmas edition” you’ll see what a success the magazine is.

Crikey tried to contact Ryan but he’d already vacated the Black Inc premises and we couldn’t track him down. But Schwartz addressed the rumours over concerns about circulation and content, saying, “for this kind of magazine we have the greatest circulation in the country.” .

Unfortunately, the greatest circulation for ‘this kind of magazine’ in the country won’t be enough to prevent the magazine being a drain on Morry’s bank account.

Though the latest issue was relatively weak, overall I think The Monthly has been an OK read, but not a must read or something people are talking about. I haven’t been prompted to blog on an article since July. One suggestion I have is that they put articles on-line. That will help get people in the blogosphere talking about it, creating a bit of the buzz that it is so far lacking.


Written by Admin

November 30, 2005 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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