MAP Magazine Folds After Only Six Issues

Categories: Media Watch
Cover05.jpgSaturday night, wandering the urban wasteland known as Wywnood, I stopped by the Bombay Saphire lounge behind the David Castillo Gallery. As I drank some gin, club soda and lemonade concoction, MAP Magazine publisher Michael Sheehan greeted me and nonchalantly told me "I'm closing MAP." Mouth agape, I asked him if he was serious.

"Yep. If I close it now, I will leave without any debt," he said.

He looked as if he had accepted the reality of the situation, even if it wasn't the outcome he wanted.

MAP was the sole publication whose mission was to showcase an emerging metropolis and its young art scene, a stark contrast to Ocean Drive's B-list celebrities and unknown socialite-filled pages. Was it perfect? No, I had publicly stated there were things I would have changed, which editor Omar Sommereyns let me know he didn't appreciate, but I couldn't deny the fact it is a well-produced magazine.

Maybe too well-produced. MAP Magazine looked like it had a high production cost -- the paper, fashion spreads, photography, and writing all cost money, even if there were only four issues a year. And it did all of this without the help of, er, adult advertising (not that I'm embarassed that I write for a publication that lets trannies and questionable massage parlors offer their services).

Reality of the situation is that the publishing industry is taking a beating in large part due to the the Internet and the failing economy. Even our parent company, Village Voice Media, isn't immune to it, having just done a round of company-wide layoffs and cost-cutting measures. Still, it's sad to see that a city so desperately in need of more quality publications lose one as good as MAP.

Is there any hope for the magazine to return at a later date? I didn't ask, but an online-only variation is out of the question according to Sheehan. "It still costs money to make that happen."
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