I updated my 2015 blog this week following the news that the NME’s final print edition would be coming out this week.
I did start to read the print edition when it first moved to the free version, and disappointment didn’t come true as it contained vox pops and barely any news. Assuming that was 2015, and with this being the momentous final edition, I decided to take a final look.
From the start, you can see where it failed. It’s a 40 page magazine, with no shortage of advertising and a strong front cover featuring Stefflon Don. We have a problem here though, flicking through the pages it is page 22 before I get to that cover interview – and that is the first proper music feature in the magazine. After articles on a new Nicholas Cage film, series two of This Country, an editorial comment and shopping options before we get to an actual music feature in the New Musical Express.
Taking the eye off the ball doesn’t seem to come close.
Come to page 28 and things take an upward step: an interview with Kim Deal, followed by a top tracks and album reviews – well you’ve got to keep the freelancers in business I suppose. Two of the three reviews are for ‘older artists’, namely David Byrne and Albert Hammond Jr. Hardly ‘new music’ acts.
After that it is gig listings, more film news and a concluding Q&A with Moby; and that is it. That’s the end of the once great weekly music magazine.
It’s pretty obvious this had gone to press before the decision was made about it being the final edition, and it is a shame that the editorial team were apparently not given the opportunity to sign off with a ‘last ever’ copy. I hope this is not the legacy of the NME, but it does feel like a slow decline.