El Fin has come for King Magazine. They closed shop after finalizing their April issue (sources). Men around the world are tempted by the flesh of black women. Me included. The inevitable question was, are men willing to pay for those images? No matter how many sponsors you start out with, if you don't have a loyal and committed community (big or small) holding you up, you're done even before you start.
My theory with these magazines is that no one will miss them. They get ran through. Folks pick them up, skim them, and throw them away or pass them along. Not a very sustainable business model.
This theory has always applied in my perception of The Liberator. The ones without readers who really care about the publication sort of deserve to fail.
This is why print will not die. It will just die from capitalism's radar, somewhat -- like Jazz, or radio (or Haile Gerima -- haha!). Those who've always loved it for what it is will continue to. Those who were on the bandwagon will leave. Those publications that are sustained by bandwagons will die. Those publications that are sustained -- like Jazz, printed books, or radio -- by committed communities, will thrive. And that's the way it's supposed to be in my view.
Those in the trade who know this will not shed a tear for these publications that are failing left and right. We know -- when all is said and done -- they were just in the game as long as the bandwagon was poppin.
Never read an issue of King Magazine myself -- only covers on newsstands and in bookstores. A part of me thinks it sucks to see folks loosing their jobs. On the other hand, a part of me is rejoicing.