Prominent UK music publication Q magazine is folding after 34 years. Editor Ted Kessler made the announcement on Twitter early Monday, citing financial restraints caused by the coronavirus pandemic as the primary reason for the magazine’s shuttering.
Q was founded in 1986 by Mark Ellen and David Hepworth. Its original name at that time was Cue, a reference to the “cueing up” of the next album. While its focus was rock, pop, and alternative music, the monthly’s heyday came during the explosion of the Britpop scene of the ’90s.
However, like countless media companies, Q could not keep up with the pandemic and its impact on an already struggling publishing industry. In May 2020, parent company Bauer Media put the magazine up for sale due to faltering ad and sales revenues. At its peak, Q touted a circulation of more than 200,000; that number dropped to just a little over 28,000 during the global health crisis, per The Guardian.
The upcoming issue, to be published on July 28th, will be its last according to Kessler. The September 2020 edition promises to highlight some of the magazine’s most memorable interviews from the last three decades, including those with David Bowie, Prince, Joni Mitchell, and more.
“This is the final issue of Q, an eventuality that nobody could’ve predicted as recently as March,” Kessler wrote in his final editor’s letter. “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. Covid19 wiped all that out.”
“This issue is designed to be enjoyed as the accompaniment to last month’s Anecdotal Evidence section,” added Kessler, referencing the penultimate issue featured in the above photo. “Each corroborates the other. They’re a one-off double A-side single, a twin-salute to Britain’s last great contemporary music magazine. Hopefully, these final issues will provide inspiration for someone canny enough to fill that huge Q-shaped hole on the newstand.”