Singing News Shrinks

My January 2009 Singing News came in today. A couple of changes jumped out as newsworthy. First, it’s staple-bound, not perfect bound. Second, it’s significantly shorter—76 pages as compared to 92 for December and 100 for November.

I also notice that a couple of major advertisers are out. Several of the big ones are still there—Daywind, Crossroads, Dixie Echoes, McKameys. But Gaither is down to two pages instead of four, and the Inspirations, Greater Vision, and Legacy Five have all cancelled their ads (or put them on hold). (A number of smaller ads are also out.)

This could explain the size difference, but it still comes as a surprise.

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19 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I don’t keep my back copies, so I can’t compare Jan 2009 with Jan 2008. Can you? Could it be that the Jan. issue is usually smaller?

    I know our economy is really suffering, but I pray that all of the Southern Gospel ministries will continue to be around to bless and encourage us!

  2. It may have been a bit smaller, but not this much smaller. (You’ll see what I mean when you get your issue!)

    There is less seasonal advertising than in the last issue, but this one has some of the longtime standbys out. I think the Inspirations have had their slot for 25 years now! Maybe they’ve missed issues in the past, but I have quite a few SN issues over the years and don’t know of another one they weren’t in.

  3. January 2008 issue had 118 pages plus the covers. Still haven’t gotten our January 09 issue yet. Think you are gonna see a lot of cutting back unless the economy picks up. I see a couple of big name concerts in our area have been cancelled by the promoter. I’ve had to cut back on the number of concerts I have scheduled for 2009 and hope I don’t have to cancel any that I have scheduled, attendance will tell.

  4. I just hope this ain’t the beginning of the end for them. I still think eventually, they will go with only the online version and do away with the magazine format , which is really a bummer for me.

  5. Maybe the Inspirations declined to put in their slot due to personnel changes.

  6. That could be. I just hope they’re not planning to hang up their travelin’ shoes…

  7. I just think that singing news has lost alot of things, due to the fact they require you to be a subsciber before you can access anything on their webpage, I think that has caused the number of subscribers, therefore making those that purchase ads to drop them due to lack of readership.

  8. Actually, you can still access a good number of the items on the webpage. I don’t really think their web choices have hurt their subscription. Pretty much anyone with Internet access isn’t really getting it for the news in the first place – we’re getting it for the feature articles, and a few of the best columnists (especially Ed O’Neal!)

  9. Sign of the times.
    Everyone has to sharpen their pencils.
    Business people used to say that best time to advertise when business is slow.
    The last couple of months in the marketplace has seen a big time reduction in advertising from Macy’s all the way down to the mom & pop store down the street.
    It is to a point where even “give away the house” sales will not pull in the customers. So why advertise until times get a little better.
    All the newspapers are cutting back. Some blame it on the internet. The economy doesn’t help matters.
    It is not the beginning of the end.
    We all are in a correction phase of the economy.
    You should read Dan Keeton’s comments on this blog.

    The next question in this correction process.
    When will people that have money available to buy a house, banks that have funds to loan or people who saving money from the downward trend in energy costs get off the sidelines and spending money?
    The answer is people are waiting for their interest of concern everything hits the bottom.
    It is not the beginning of the end of the Singing News.
    They are in the same boat as the rest of us just waiting for the storms pass by.

  10. Seems most comments are leaning towards economy. 2 months again when Jim Crumbee was fired I told my wife I was concerned how long Singing News will last. Salem discontunued publishing CCM this past year. Jim is a BIG supporter of SGM, but who else at Salem has the same passion. It would be sad to see it go after all these years.

  11. The economy is the reason that you saw a reduction in advertisers in the January issue of the Singing News.

    Salem will have to hard at the point that poster #10 raised about eliminating the magazine version of the Singing News.

    I would tend to think that the younger CCM fans are a lot more internet focused than the Singing News consumers.

    The whole CCM movement started around the same time as the CCM’s fan base were graduating from high school and the advent of the internet. CCM followers grew up with the typing on internet while southern gospel music fan were still playing the piano of their favorite southern gospel songs.

    How many times have you been to a southern gospel music and the speaker asks the question about how many saw this in the Singing News? You know the answer or I wouldn’t be asking you the question.

    On a related matter, the artists, groups or organizations that have built up e-mail and USPS mailing lists are the ones that will survive the currents storms.

  12. That’s true about the advertising being down. But there seems to be fewer articles in the magazine. That’s what is concerning me. If Salem is just looking at the bottom line it could be the end. The Singing News needs someone that has the passion of Whit or Maurice. A corp. has to answer to share holders. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  13. At least they still have Danny Jones. Even though he would not have as much say as his voice combined with either Templeton or Cumbee, I am sure he’s still as dedicated to keeping it going as in years past.

  14. I still haven’t gotten my January issue…hopefully this week.

  15. I called the SN circulation office today, and the secretary told me that January would be the only month like the old ones. In other words, they would be going back to the super-glue format with the February issue.

  16. I wonder why they changed for one month.

  17. Probably obtained more ads to make the magazine thick enough to be able to use the glue.

  18. It is a thing called the economy guys. And that the economy is affecting not just jobs. But magazines and newspapers, to shrink down.


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