Once mighty music mag Q joins Covid casualties

They said of the last great recession – the financial crisis of 2008 – that the succeeding low interest rate regime kept many businesses that should have closed on life support. So good old capitalism’s survival-of-the-fittest medicine didn’t work.

No such luck this time as the grim reaper Covid-19 knocks ’em all down.

A lamented departure is Q magazine, latterly owned by Bauer, which had been unsuccessfully trying to sell it. Music monthly Q was an unlikely 1986 launch from EMAP (East Midlands Allied Press as was), then trying the magazine business. Q was helmed by Smash Hits refugees Mark Ellen and David Hepworth. It became a kind of British Rolling Stone.

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Madonna reportedly told Q in 1991: “Everyone probably thinks I’m a raving nymphomaniac, when the truth is I’d rather read a book.” Which may be the most interesting thing she’s ever said.

I toiled at EMAP in its business division around then (not very enthusiastically) but Q was on a different, far more glitzy and rather more capable planet. CDs had changed the music world so Q could commit to new music in the 1990s and also revert to the old music when it wished (most of which was far better.)

Most good things come to an end of course and Q had a good innings even though latterly it was selling about 20,000 copies against 200,000 at its peak. I haven’t bought an issue for years but I guiltily wish I had.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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