Artnet Magazine, the 16-year-old Web-only art magazine, announced today that it would cease publication effective immediately. The news follows this morning’s report that Artnet CEO Hans Neuendorf will step down July 1, to be succeeded by his son, Jacob Pabst. According to a press release issued by the company, “This difficult decision is an economic one, and reflects the fact that during its 16 years of digital life, the magazine was never able to pay its own way.”
Artnet is a German public company, so the magazine’s financial woes have not been a secret. For one, Skate’s Art Investment Review has been relentlessly commenting on the troubled finances of the magazine for over a year, mentioning it in at least three different reports since last March. The most scathing is this, from last’s August’s “Market Notes” (PDF):
The loss of EUR 471,000 on revenues of EUR 50,000 for the first six months of the year is truly depressing, and the fact that revenues are declining at a slower rate than the losses are increasing would console only a masochist…
In May 2012 Skate’s announced that it would suspend its analysis of Artnet because that it had been retained by a client wanting strategic investment advice related to Artnet. One can only wonder if said client had enough pull with the company to finally get them to shut the publication.
UPDATE: Katya Kazakina and Catherine Hickley at Bloomberg revealed this morning that Redline, the Russian company with a stake in Artnet that Skate’s is advising, is contemplating a takeover, much to the chagrin of Neuendorf.