The publisher of CCM Magazine announced it will discontinue the print edition of the monthly music magazine due to an increasing demand for faster music news.
Salem Publishing said last Wednesday that the April 2008 issue will be the final printed version of CCM Magazine.
"CCM Magazine readers tell us they want more information and want it faster than can be delivered in a monthly printed magazine," said Jim Cumbee, president of non-broadcast media for Salem Communications and publisher of CCM Magazine, according to a news release.
The decision to discontinue the print version of CCM Magazine, added Cumbee, was made to "put increased energies toward the continued growth and enhancement of our comprehensive Christian music and entertainment online network."
That network is currently made up by CCMMagazine.com, ChristianMusicPlanet.com, CMCentral.com and MyCCM.org.
When it first began 30 years ago, the acronym for CCM Magazine originally stood for "Contemporary Christian Music," specifically covering Christian music. For a short time, the magazine broadened its scope to include mainstream entertainment and music while focusing on a Christian audience under the name Contemporary Christian Magazine. It later reverted to its original name.
In May 2007, the magazine reinvented its market appeal once more. Editor Jay Swartzendruber announced in that month's issue that CCM no longer stood for "Contemporary Christian Music" but for "Christ. Community. Music."
The magazine, he said, would shift away from covering Christian music by its label or distribution in an effort "to raise the profile of independent and general market artists of faith."
The change not only represented a shift on coverage from "Jesus Music" to "Christian worldview music" but also saw the emergence of reader-generated content.
While some readers said they will miss the print edition, one reader welcomed the move.
"At least this will save some trees," said a reader, who went by the name of redeemedsaint on the magazine's online forum. "The latest issue that I looked at, I thought that I was looking at Rolling Stone. You can't tell the difference because many of the Christian bands look like the world."
CCM Magazine currently has 65,000 subscribers to its digital and print editions, according to the magazine's media kit. Around 40,000 people currently subscribe to the CCM's e-mail newsletter.
"We are excited to continue our commitment to great writing and thorough coverage, but now all of that will come to the readers on Internet time," said Cumbee.
According to Salem Publishing, the print edition of its other magazines will continue.