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Friday, 15 December, 2000, 08:30 GMT
Melody Maker to merge with NME
NME will absorb Melody Maker into its pages and website
Music magazine Melody Maker is to close and merge with its long-standing rival New Musical Express within weeks, owner IPC has said.

NME will effectively absorb Melody Maker, said to be the world's oldest weekly pop magazine, within its pages and on its website.

Melody Maker
Melody Maker: Published weekly since 1926
Melody Maker has been published weekly since 1926 but in recent months it has seen circulation fall by 21%.

The magazine's publisher IPC said increasing competition from music sites on the internet had prompted the decision.

The pop newspaper and magazine industry is undergoing a period of instability - two weeks ago publishers Emap closed the monthly Select magazine, claiming that the market no longer existed for a rock-oriented title.

Mike Soutar, managing director of IPC Music & Sport, told the website "We are merging Melody Maker into the NME brand.

'Market conditions'

"The final issue of Melody Maker will be published at Christmas, following which the Melody Maker's famous musicians' section will transfer to the weekly NME and the classified ads will migrate online to at the beginning of 2001."

NME and Melody Maker have been long-standing rivals despite both belonging to IPC.

Mr Soutar added: "We are ceasing the publication of the standalone Melody Maker because, unfortunately, market conditions made continued publishing impossible.

"The magazine was doing exactly what it should have been doing but the readers just weren't there in the numbers to keep it viable."

IPC investigated turning the weekly title into a monthly magazine, but was dissuaded by the recent closure of Select magazine.

The NME website said "key members of staff" at Melody Maker would join NME but it was not clear if there would be job losses.

IPC has spent the last 12 months developing NME into a brand name, focusing on internet developments as well as the traditional publication of the magazine.

On the IPC website Melody Maker is described as "the world's oldest music weekly".

It is described as "the brand that music fans trust" and at the "heart and soul of the world music scene".

See also:

01 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Britpop bible closes
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