Sunday, January 4, 2009
– One of the leading bluegrass music magazines, which turned into a web site, is no more. Wayne Bledsoe announced on the web site of the longstanding Bluegrass Now that he was closing, a victim of the economy.
On the ezine's web site, Bledsoe wrote, "the current downturn in the U.S. economy has taken its toll on most industries, and bluegrass has been no exception. While Bluegrass Now's fan-base support has remained strong, many corporations have had to reassess their disbursement priorities with regard to such things as advertising. It should be noted however, that the decline in advertising revenue is not unique to the music industry. The Chicago Tribune announced recently its intentions to file for Chapter 11."
Bluegrass Now had been one of the leading bluegrass magazines, but last year, Bledsoe decided to go web only.
"Although Bluegrass Now has avoided the magnitude of problems afflicting the major publishers, the economic downturn has impacted us in a variety of ways. After prolonged deliberations, we have decided that rather than compromise the integrity and quality of the magazine, which we have sought to maintain since its inception in 1990, we will cease publication."
"Deb and I have enjoyed tremendously our 18-year run with Bluegrass Now. We sincerely hope that the magazine has been instrumental in helping to advance the industry, because it has brought us priceless friendships with a multitude of fans, artists and industry leaders. I find it especially gratifying that a significant number of our writers and technical staff has been with us from the beginning, and there is no way to thank these people for their support and unwavering confidence."
Bledsoe said he would continue being an active member of the of the International Bluegrass Music Association, produce and host three bluegrass radio programs for the University of Missouri (KMST-FM) and will also continue emceeing at various festivals.
"Make no mistake about it, however: our main focus, beginning in 2009, will be to experience the joys of retirement, particularly the increased time with our grandkids!," he wrote.
"Please accept our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your support and friendship over the years."