The December / January issue of UK music newspaper The Stool Pigeon is to be its last.
Launched in 2005, The Stool Pigeon was available for free via various UK stockists, and always made for great reading due to its refreshing sense of self-awareness and refusal to pull punches (they gave FACT a bit of a ribbing, in fact, when we stopped producing our print magazine back in 2008, and so we’d like to go on record as saying that we’ve now won the war).
A post on The Stool Pigeon‘s website by editor Phil Hebblethwaite explains the reasons behind the move. The future of the magazine’s website remains uncertain, with Hebblethwaite “reserv[ing] the right to come back and do something with [it], but not unless we can find a way to fund things properly”. Given the magazine’s close ties to The Quietus, we dare say you’ll be able to catch several of their writers over there in the meantime. Here’s the post in full:
The December/January issue of The Stool Pigeon was the final issue. A catch-22: I wanted to do much more online, but the newspaper sucked up nearly all our resources and time. It’s proved impossible to do both as well as we’d like and, to be frank, we’re knackered.
We haven’t gone bust. We will settle outstanding invoices and, subscribers, you will be reimbursed via PayPal for issues that you have paid for upfront and will now not receive. Thank you for your support.
I reserve the right to come back and do something with this site, hopefully alongside my distinguished deputy editor Alex Denney, but not unless we can find a way to fund things properly. I still love doing what we do, and perhaps what I’m trying to say is that running out 60,000 copies of a free newspaper six times a year and distributing them to 100 cities/towns across the UK has become untenable, and also increasingly less effective and exciting than publishing journalism online.
I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and it’s unquestionably been a fascinating period to cover music. YouTube launched a month after we did in 2005. Everything has changed.
Our esteemed creative director and co-founder Mickey Gibbons, who designed every page of The Stool Pigeon in our eight-year history, can be contacted, as all three of us can, below. He was last seen heading for the airport.
We both owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all our contributing editors, writers, photographers, comic strip artists and illustrators, especially to Alex Denney, Cian Traynor, Jeremy Allen, The Quietus chaps, Krent Able, Ash Dosanjh and Melissa Bohlsen, who worked full-time for us for three years. Great friendships have formed — two writers married! — and we’ll miss the great sense of occasion you get when making a newspaper. It was always stressful, but also a pleasure and lots of fun.
We’re immensely thankful, too, to our 650 stockists and to our advertisers, who have been entirely dignified in their support of The Stool Pigeon — never attempting to push us into corners.
We were a publication that was determinedly independent, sought to be truthful and we tried to be funny. Not easy. We printed some absolute rubbish over the years, and plenty of good stuff. We won awards and, more importantly, secured a dedicated fanbase. Your affection for the paper was the reason we survived as long as we did.
Thanks for being a reader.