The print version of New Musical Express magazine has closed after 66 years in existence. The news was announced this morning by NME owner, multi-national media conglomerate Time Inc, which confirmed in a statement: “NME’s free weekly print magazine will cease publication. This week’s issue of the magazine out on Friday will be the final free print edition.”
Paul Cheal, Time Inc. UK group managing director, Music, said: “NME is one of the most iconic brands in British media and our move to free print has helped to propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.COM. The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of.
“At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”
The free NME launched on 18 September 2015, with Rihanna on its cover, and has been handed out to commuters and students across the UK on a weekly basis since.
So ends a long relationship between the print edition of the NME and Glasgow. The magazine was much maligned in recent years, facing an accelerating decline in readership since the heady days of the 1990s.
It should be remembered that their music journalists were a lot quicker than many other London-based media to start championing the musical talent of Glasgow. Our nascent bands were rowdy, rough around the edges and often downright weird. Not everyone got them. The NME was a way to introduce escapees from the city scene as they moved to national and international stardom.
On the day that the magazine moves into another form, here are some of the Glasgow NME covers from down the years.