MEDIA: Life After Death Magnetic

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INQUIRER: “The music industry was in the toilet, and we were able to weather that,” says Magnet editor Eric T. Miller, who in 1993 cofounded the magazine. (John Cusack was reading it in publicity shots for the 2000 movie adaptation of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. “And then the magazine industry was in the toilet, and we were able to weather that – for a while.” And then, in 2008, the economy crashed. “You’re able to weather 90 things going wrong, but 100 things . . . .” In a shrinking market where online music sites and blogs such as Pitchfork and Stereogum have thrived while traditional media such as Spin (now a bimonthly magazine), Paste (Web-only), and Blender (out of business) have struggled, Magnet seemed headed for a depressing denouement. Miller doubted he would ever again hold a fresh copy of the magazine, which featured stylish alt-rockers Urge Overkill on its first cover and had established itself as a sharp, authoritative voice. Then in October, a funny thing happened. The 10,000 rock fans on Magnet’s subscription list who were still owed issues found something surprising in their mailboxes: A new issue of Magnet, with the esteemed American rock band Wilco on its cover. MORE

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