Tribune: the end of an era

October 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm (Jim D, labour party, left, literature, media, Orwell, publications, socialism)

Paul Anderson at Gauche reports:

TRIBUNE TO CLOSE

The following statement will appear in the issue of Tribune to be published
this Friday:

Tribune is to cease publication in its 75th year. Unless
arrangements can be found for new ownership or funding within days the last
edition will be next week, 4 November. The decision has been made by Tribune
Publications 2009 Ltd after a substantial cash injection failed to raise
subscriptions and income to target levels.

The company intends to
maintain a Tribune website, which will carry automated feeds from other
left of centre sources and will require no staff. All six full-time and
part-time staff are to be made redundant.

Owner Kevin McGrath has
indicated to staff that if they wish to continue to run Tribune as a
co-operative he is prepared to transfer the Company and the archive of 75 years
editions to them free of any historical debt, which he has committed to
honouring. In collaboration with senior officials from the National Union of
Journalists, the editor and staff are exploring the possibility of setting up a
co-operative to keep the title alive but with a deadline of Friday 28 October,
time is regrettably short. Talks are taking placed in advance of a crunch
meeting on that date at which new arrangements will be agreed or the company
will be closed. Among the options under review with experts in co-op models of
management is an appeal for short-term donations from readers and supporters on
the basis that these funds would be converted into capital in a jointly-owned
worker-reader co-op, with representation on a new board. The staff have agreed
to continue working in order to get out a final edition and allow some time,
short as it is, for an alternative to be found.

Mr McGrath, who rescued
the paper after a consortium of trade unions relinquished ownership in March
2009, said: “The newspaper format of Tribune has, in a changing world of
electronic communications and economics, become unsustainable. We are, however,
determined to keep the Tribune brand alive by moving all publication to
its web site and through the continued maintenance of the archive of the paper’s
75 years.

“This means that the company has safeguarded the history of
Tribune and will keep the brand alive through the web site which will run
on an automated basis feeding off other left of centre political and arts web
sites and will offer immediate, up-to-date news coverage. It is a positive and
exciting move into the 21st century.

“I would personally like to thank
all the staff for their hard work and commitment to Tribune over the
years. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal readers for
their support and hope they will stay with Tribune at www.tribunemagazine.co.uk and www.archive.tribunemagazine.co.uk.”

Since its launch in January 1937 Tribune has been a renowned journal of
intellectual, literary journalistic and artistic merit. As a weekly, independent
journal of the labour movement it is needed now more than ever.

2 Comments

  1. DW said,

    So much for the Labour Party’s claimed “shift to the left” then.

  2. charliethechulo said,

    According to Paul Anderson, a rescue plan has been agreed:

    http://libsoc.blogspot.com/2011/10/survival-plan-agreed-for-tribune.html

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