The Brag Media
News July 21, 2020

Q Magazine, the “world’s greatest music magazine,” to close after 34 years

Q Magazine, the “world’s greatest music magazine,” to close after 34 years

Q Magazine is stopping the presses for good, spelling the end of one Britain’s finest music titles after 34 years.

“The pandemic did for us and there was nothing more to it than that,” said Q editor Ted Kessler in a tweet.

“We’ve been a lean operation for all of my tenure, employing a variety of ways to help keep our head above water in an extremely challenging print market. Covid-19 wiped all that out. I must apologise profusely for my failure to keep Q afloat.”

The last issue is due on 28th July, in which the editor’s letter will read, “I must apologise for my failure to keep Q afloat.”

With news up front, and stuffed with smart, longform features which pulled readers in deep, the glossy magazine was a staple for music tragics. For a music journalist, to be published in Q was like an award.

Q was founded in 1986 as “Cue” by Smash Hits writers Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, who went on to launch the award-winning title The Word, which ran from 2003 to 2012.

Earlier on, Q referred to itself as “The modern guide to music and more”.

Later, and without a hint of self-importance, its cover would splash the slogan, “The world’s greatest music magazine”.

The magazine took its brand to the next level in 1990 with the launch of its annual Q Awards in central London, where guests could party with giants of rock, pop and hip-hop.

If you were sober leaving the Q Awards, you were at the wrong place. And certainly, the industry wouldn’t return to work after attending the lunchtime boozefest.

Winners at last year’s ceremony included Madness, Lana Del Rey, Dizzie Rascal and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon.

According to the BBC, Q’s circulation had plummeted to 28,000 per month from a peak of 200,000 in 2001. Its owner Bauer Media had put the title under review in May.

The end of Q comes after NME folded its print edition, and evolved into a digital-only destination.

It’s a different story in Australia, where life has reentered the traditional consumer music press with the return of Rolling Stone Australia, published through a partnership with TIO parent The Brag Media, and the rollout of a hard copy for NME Australia.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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