Music mag keeps website

The long-imperiled yet highly-regarded music magazine Paste has folded its print edition, laying off nine of its 12 staffers.

In a note from editor-in-chief Josh Jackson on Paste’s website, the independently run magazine announced that its June/July issue would be its last, shortly after Gawker.com reported the shuttering. The remaining three staffers will oversee the publication’s website.

“Struggles with mounting debt were made public last year when our readers responded with generosity to save the magazine,” Jackson said in the note. “But the prolonged downturn of the ad market has forced a hiatus.”

He added: “Paste, while considering strategic alternatives, is focusing on its digital assets, including PasteMagazine.com.”

The Decatur, Ga.-based magazine bowed its print edition in 2002 after four years online, first as a quarterly, and then as a monthly publication beginning in 2006. Paste packaged every issue with a CD sampler of staffers’ new music picks.

The publication had suffered financial troubles before, and in 2007 revamped its subscription policies in the model of Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” album release — allowing readers to determine their own subscription price and swelling its subscriber base in the process. In 2009, editors publicly solicited donations to keep Paste afloat, raising $275,000.

According to the magazine, Paste’s circulation was slightly above 200,000, and its website averaged 1.2 million pageviews per month. Paste was named magazine of the year three consecutive times by the PLUG Independent Music Awards, and was twice nominated for a National Magazine Award.

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