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Artnet Magazine, Digital Publishing Pioneer, Folds after 16 Years

Brace yourselves, art and design lovers: artnet Magazine is no more. The pioneering online art magazine is ceasing publication, effective immediately. Artnet’s French- and German-language publications are also being folded. The abrupt decision “is an economic one,” according to the brief announcement posted today to the magazine’s website, “and reflects the fact that during its 16 years of digital life, the magazine was never able to pay its own way.” Archived artnet content will remain available on artnet.com, at least for now. Longtime contributor Charlie Finch penned a brief farewell. “Nothing lasts forever,” he wrote earlier today. “But it is a shame that, at the point at which artnet Magazine’s content is more comprehensive and lucid than ever, that it will disappear.”

The fate of artnet Magazine was apparently sealed by a leadership change at the Berlin-based company, which reported 2011 revenues of €13.3 million (approximately $16.6 million at current exchange). Hans Neuendorf is retiring after 20 years at the helm of artnet AG. Stepping into the role of CEO and chairman is Jacob Pabst, who since January has served as president of Artnet Worldwide (the 120-employee operation based in New York). His appointment, announced today, is effective July 1. It may not surprise you to learn that Pabst, 39, has a degree in economics. In his previous role as artnet’s chief information officer, Pabst introduced online auctions and analytics reports to the site. Pabst plans to focus on expanding marketing and sales efforts for the artnet platform, now stripped of fresh editorial content. For the time being, archived artnet stories will remain available on artnet.com.

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