Q was started in 1986 by former Smash Hits writers David Hepworth and Mark Ellen, who wanted to give readers a brilliant, sometimes irreverent, high-quality product.
They recognized the popularity of established bands like Queen at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Bands that other music journalists at the time rejected in their quest for the next big event, but who clearly had a huge and established fan base. .
Q has built its own core readership over the years, but sales began to plummet in the 2000s, and the slowness in exploiting online opportunities left the title floating.
The groups that they had always gone against the grain to become champions were cool again and back on the covers of their rivals.
Employed since 2004, Ted Kessler took over as editor in 2017 and began to rekindle the magazine’s reputation, attracting more female writers and placing more emphasis on emerging talent.
But the days of longer journalism, where writers forged relationships with artists, were fading.
Too often, artists are now accused of being bland and too “coached in public relations”. Not the ideal topics for in-depth interviews.
And those who have something to say – for better or for worse – do so through their own social media profiles.
Dorian Lynskey has been writing for Q for 20 years.
One of his first and finest pieces involved a trip aboard U2’s private jet – an opportunity that would be hard to come by now.
“It was incredibly glamorous and they were excited to have reporters around,” Lynskey said.
“It’s a generation of musicians in their forties, fifties and sixties who really loved journalism. They thought that was part of it, you wanted the music press to be on their side.
“You would like them, but that doesn’t mean you would give them an easy time. But there was that respect that you could push them and be sarcastic because that was part of the game. ”
As newspapers and magazines already struggle to hold the internet back in an increasingly difficult market, the global pandemic has arrived.
The lockdown has decimated sales as retailers shut down. Postal subscriptions were among the first things to do as layoffs and holidays tightened the belt of readers. And it’s hard to read a magazine about your daily commutes, when you are out of daily commutes.
In the latest edition, captioned “Adventures with Legends, 1986-2020,” editor-in-chief Kessler apologized and firmly blamed the virus causing such economic chaos.
“We have been a lean operation throughout my tenure, employing a variety of means to help keep our heads above water in an extremely difficult printing market,” he wrote.
« COVID-19[feminine[feminine destroyed it all. I have to apologize profusely for my failure to keep Q afloat. ”
Thus, Q magazine will now take its place in history, with Live Aid and the compact disc.
Another dying moment for the ever-changing music industry.