To my deep regret, the Western Standard has decided to stop publishing our print edition..
It's a purely financial decision. Even though our advertising revenues were stronger than ever, with marquee brands like GM, Mazda, BMW and Air Canada filling our pages, and even though we had the most loyal subscribers in the business, with an unheard-of 80% renewal rate, we just weren't close enough to profit......
The whole story is here: Western Standard
Ezra Levant - the publisher of the Western Standard has said the on-line version of the Shotgun Blog will continue, and they will try to keep it going. I hope so. There are too few media voices in this country who are not beholding to the "progressive" point of view - and the Western Standard was one.
It's an unfortunate irony that one of the few Free-enterprise, capitalist magazines, falls not to a slew of lawsuits from a lawsuit flinging Imam, but to the simple cost of ink, paper and distribution. Reading the comments on the annoucement, I was struck how the comments broke down into three different types. The first group was generally a comment on how the magazine will be missed - and wishing the staff well. The second group seemed to be a lot of questions as to what will happen to the money paid into subscriptions, valid FAQ's all. The third group, were the of course, the dipper and lefty moonbats who were glad to see the magazine fail and crowing over their 'victory'.
The questions of the second group gave me a bit of a pause. And a little guilt. For the longest time now, I've been reading the Western Standard not in the dead tree edition, but online as part of my daily news reading in my Google news reader avoiding the pay content sites. Just looking around my office, the only magazines I read in a paper form on a consistant basis are Men's Health, American Photographer, Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. There are no news magazines, or political thought - those all come through the Internet via the Reader, or lurking in some of the popular Blogs comment areas. Which doesn't generate revenue for the Western standard. As has been said before - how can you compete with Free?.
Well, it can be done - and I hope the folks at Western Standard can turn into a great website where the debates and discussion can continue, but for now, I'm just going to lament the passing of a friend I should have spent more on.