Canadian Magazine Industry News
27 September 2016,     TORONTO
The Record to fold after 140 years
 
The Presbyterian Record, owned and published by Presbyterian Record Inc., has announced that after 140 years, it will cease publishing in December 2016.

At its peak in 1975, circulation of the magazine was at 88,000. By the turn of the century the number fell to 50,000 and is at 10,000 today.

Over the past 25 years readership has been declining at an average rate of 2,000 subscribers a year, the denomination has also been on the decline, at a rate of about 2,800 members a year. 

Publisher and editor David Harris said the magazine couldn’t transition fast enough from a subscription-based model to a philanthropically financed model.

“Our donors have been fantastic,” Harris said. “Over the past 12 years, they have given us almost $1.5 million. Without that support, the magazine would have folded years ago.”

He also said an online-only version was not an option. “Salaries, not printing and postage, are the biggest costs at a small magazine like the Record,” he said. “You need excellent staff whether a publication is online or print. And the Record could not expect to generate significant online revenue.”

The Record posted a loss of $141,425 at the end of 2015 on a $900,000 budget; with another nearly quarter million-dollar loss projected for 2016. Harris said the magazine would have needed to raise an additional $75,000 this year and about $250,000 next year in order to continue.
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