Autopsy Report: With an Issue Ready for the Printer, MAP Magazine Closes Down


| 1/28/2009 12:23:37 PM


Tags: Media, Magazines, autopsy report,

MAP cover issue 6If you never picked up a copy of MAP Magazine, the Miami based art and culture quarterly, you blew it. It’s gone now—shuttered by a cash-strapped publisher with a completed issue ready for the printer. It’s the cruelest brand of magazine death. That interview with Gore Vidal and Chip Kidd? Gone. That piece on the art scene in Berlin? On a hard drive somewhere. The multiple covers created exclusively for the issue by an esteemed art collective? Wasted time.

We first got word of MAP’s demise from Twitter user themediaisdying. An email to (former) MAP editor Omar Sommereyns bounced. We finally tracked him down and arranged an interview. What follows is a little bit of inside baseball and a lot of hurt. And it’s reminder that the best magazines are a labor of love first and a business second. That might be why the best magazines don’t always make it.

UTNE READER: You only made it to six issues. What happened?

OMAR SOMMEREYNS: Yes, it was six issues, but MAP was a quarterly culture publication packed with content. There was always a lot to read—no cheap tidbits only feature narratives, interviews, a fashion section, and columns.

I knew that it would be a serious challenge. Part of it was the location. In Miami the publishing arena is mostly plagued by vacuous glossies and ad-rags. This isn't exactly a literary town. It had never encountered a magazine with a truly intellectual and culturally-relevant approach; with more long-form pieces and serious content.

Our subscriptions, feedback on the content, and readership kept growing exponentially with each issue. But the marketing people were still not selling enough ads, and the economic downturn certainly didn't help. It simply came to a point where the publishers couldn't afford to produce the magazine anymore. 

jenna king
3/29/2009 11:59:46 AM

Symposium Magazine ( a never talked about art journal that is TRULY a refreshing break from the south beach glitz crap) published an interview with Gore Vidal AND did a feature article on the Berlin art scene two months before MAP was "supposed" to. I thought MAP was "pretty" but, full of itself with marketing booze parties that reaked of the exact thing they were "apparently" speaking against. Miami is far from a thinking mans haven when a glitzy magazine like MAP disquises itself as an intellectual rag and we believe it. If Symposium could afford the paper and the parties it could probably run against the best of the best...But, in "intellectual" Miami Thick fancy paper and dress up parties are abviously more important than Art content by artists...we should be ashamed.


jenna king
3/29/2009 11:59:10 AM

Symposium Magazine ( a never talked about art journal that is TRULY a refreshing break from the south beach glitz crap) published an interview with Gore Vidal AND did a feature article on the Berlin art scene two months before MAP was "supposed" to. I thought MAP was "pretty" but, full of itself with marketing booze parties that reaked of the exact thing they were "apparently" speaking against. Miami is far from a thinking mans haven when a glitzy magazine like MAP disquises itself as an intellectual rag and we believe it. If Symposium could afford the paper and the parties it could probably run against the best of the best...But, in "intellectual" Miami Thick fancy paper and dress up parties are abviously more important than Art content by artists...we should be ashamed.


carrie swiggum
2/6/2009 3:56:38 PM

You can't beat that cover shot. "A few days before going to press, my publishers let me know that the magazine was shutting down, with everything paid for, except we couldn't afford to publish that last issue. That'll always haunt me." -I'm so sorry, how frustrating