Venus Zine Shuts Down

 

Respected
femme-centric music/arts/culture magazine to close its doors on Friday,
December 10.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Venus Zine, which
started up in Chicago
in 1995 and notched many kudos for its in-depth coverage of women in the music,
arts, literature, film and fashion, has announced it will be closing as of this
week. In an email sent out on Tuesday to contributors by Venus Zine Editor In Chief Jill Russell, the exact reason behind
the decision to shutter the publication was not disclosed other than “finances,”
but the presumption is that it is simply another casualty of the shrinking ad
revenue and dwindling circulation scenarios that have been plaguing the print
world for some time now.

 

 

 

BLURT predecessor Harp suffered a similar fate in 2008, while more recently Paste magazine folded and now operates exclusively as an online
entity staffed by volunteers. Venus Zine had had its share of financial and circulation problems in recent years, and in
January of this year it was sold to Sarah Beardsley, a former vice president at MCI. However,
Beardsley’s ambitious plans to grow the magazine – she had told reporters she
wanted to turn it into a thriving monthly with a circulation in the
neighborhood of 200,000 (up from 60,000) never fully materialized. It appears
that Beardsley will follow in the footsteps of Paste and will continue to run the website at VenusZine.com.

 

Russell wrote, in part:

 

I’m
writing with some sad news. We just learned that Venus will no longer publish
in print (also, myself and the other staffers will be done as of this Friday,
December 10).
Despite
our best efforts – and we have done AMAZINGLY well this year on the editorial
side, both in print and online – it’s become an issue of finances, as always in
media.

It’s definitely not happy news to have to
unravel the spring 2011 issue, which was already well under way, as well as
much of the forthcoming web content, but it’s unfortunately what we’re in the
process of doing now. Our publisher does plan to keep the web site up and
running. I don’t have many specifics in terms of her plans/strategy.”

 

Among the many artists who graced the cover of the magazine over the past decade
or so: M.I.A., Cat Power, Neko Case, Janelle Monae, Janeane Garofalo, Joanna
Newsom, Bjork, Zoe Kravitz, Sleater-Kinney, Sarah Silverman and… Jack White! Venus Zine will indeed be missed.

 

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