According to an announcement on its website this morning, The Rake magazine’s March issue will be its last. The website will continue to publish such items as its daily “Secret of the Day” emails, events calendar, restaurant database and some blogs. “No long, thoughtful stories,” says publisher Tom Bartel.
Bartel said 15 of the company’s 16 employees will be laid off, including editor Julie Caniglia; online editor Cristina Cordova will remain. The Rake will continue to sell ads for its own site and mnspeak.com, the discussion site operated by Bartel’s son Matt. Tom Bartel says he and Matt have at least two other projects in the works: a social-networking site for moms and “one other one I can’t tell you about.”
Bartel said he decided to shutter the magazine in the last several
days after discussions with “a couple of interested lookers” about
buying the titles didn’t pan out. Noting job cuts over the past year at
the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and City Pages, he says the print
advertising market “sucks,” though direct competitors Mpls.St.Paul and
Minnesota Monthly have outwardly seemed immune from the falloff.
According to Bartel, the Rake was profitable two years ago, but revenue
declined 13 percent in 2007 and was on pace for a similar slump this
year. The announcement also cites higher printing and production costs.
If you want to read Rake writer Brad Zellar’s response to my post last week about the Rake, you should definitely click here. It’s a reminder the very real talent and very real passion are at stake when a publication ceases.