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Paste Magazine Asks Readers For Donations To Save Magazine

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ATLANTA — The music monthly Paste is asking readers to donate money to keep the magazine afloat.

The magazine, hurt by a sharp drop in advertising revenue that already has killed several other publications, won't be able to publish its next issue without the help, editor-in-chief Josh Jackson said Thursday, the day after Paste posted a donation page to its Web site.

Jackson said he is hoping to raise "in the low six figures," though he declined to give a specific number.

In exchange for a donation, the magazine is doing what it does best: giving out exclusive, rare tracks donated by artists like the Indigo Girls, Josh Rouse, Matthew Sweet and The Decemberists.

"We've just seen so many magazines go under," Jackson said in a telephone interview from his office in Decatur. "Rather than shutter the doors, we needed to at least try this."

So far, the average donation is $29 _ a promising sign for Jackson, who called the magazine a "labor of love." Paste has a circulation of 205,000, but draws nearly 1 million viewers online, he said.

In 2007, the magazine offered a pay-what-you-want subscription deal _ following in the steps of rock group Radiohead, which asked fans to pick how much they wanted to shell out for the band's latest album, "In Rainbows." Jackson said the promotion help boost subscriptions, but advertising sales began drying up later that year.

A subscription currently costs $19.95.

Paste, which is published independently by a staff of 15 of mostly 20- and 30-somethings, started as a Web site in 1998 and was first published on paper in 2002. Each monthly edition includes articles and photos on music, film and culture, plus a CD with songs from up-and-coming artists.

A rival music magazine, Blender, stopped publishing a print product in March and is now only online. Others, like Country Home, Domino, CosmoGirl and PC Magazine have all either shut their doors or converted to entirely online content.


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