This news story was originally published here: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProgNewsProgarchives/~3/xntVjyShPhU/forum_posts.asp
This is what John Collinge wrote on PE:
“I am writing to transparently explain the fate of Progression Magazine of which I am — was — owner/publisher. That I hadn’t fully done so before is in itself painful to me, but remains necessary for all involved. A friend called my attention to an old, lengthy thread on PE regarding Progression’s fate. I realized this was my opportunity to break from subconsciously self-imposed exile to address matters driven by a dying print industry and also of personal origin, which I’ve been reluctant to share publicly.
I started Progression in 1992 as a 12-page bimonthly newsletter, which evolved over the years into a 182-page internationally circulated quarterly magazine at its peak. It was a labor of love, mostly for the music but also for the challenge of bringing serious journalism to a deserving genre. Suffice to say this publication — which I built from scratch “learning by doing” – consumed my life 24/7 for 26 years. Having no children, Progression was my “child.” But being a journalist foremost and businessman a far distant second, I was ill-equipped for navigating financial growing pains as advertising and circulation duties soon eclipsed editorial. I ran myself ragged wearing all three hats, could not afford to hire help but pressed on for years longer than I probably should have. Why? Simply put, celebrating progressive music’s visceral and intellectual appeal through the journalistic process fed my soul. Plus, a lot of folks liked the results.
The Internet came of age during Progression’s tenure spelling the print industry’s inexorable decline, which I resisted to the very bitter end. The first big blow was my primary newsstand distributor, Desert Moon Periodicals, going bankrupt losing me thousands. Then Tower Records folded, Progression’s biggest retail outlet. As people gravitated to online reading, magazines – especially indie publications – began to fold.
The emergence of social media and DIY websites forced me to don a fourth “hat” for online promotion and content that proved unmanageable. From the very start in ’92 through Progression’s last issue a bit over two years ago, this has been a one-man operation augmented by paid graphic artists and generous contributions from volunteer writers/reviewers. Between selling ads, managing subscriptions, writing, editing and overseeing online functions, my workload reached critical mass. Problem is, progressive music remains a tiny niche market with limited resources.
Progression’s last few years were plagued by an erratic publishing schedule. Job one for each issue cycle was first covering the printing bill (which ultimately drained my personal savings). Things stalled completely when a medical scare limited my ability to focus long hours on a computer screen as the work required. I am blind in my right eye from birth which made my left eye better than 20/20, but a condition called severe vitreous detachment clouded vision in my good eye that I still am coping with.
My hope all along has been to reinvent Progression in more manageable form, perhaps digitally, but finding a workable path forward has been elusive. Frankly, it is incredibly hard for me to abandon this “child,” this creation, with which I so closely have identified through three decades. As a result I’ve been unwittingly avoidant of hard truths and of properly apprising all subscribers/supporters where things stand. I thought this had been addressed – or at least, told myself that. Then I figured no one really cared. Then I’m alerted to a lengthy PE thread with posters calling me “scummy” and “leech,” so apparently some folks care after all.
That hurt. Eventually I came to accept that my efforts toward saving Progression at such high personal cost were counterproductive and a disservice to others. Back issues remain available in the webstore which no longer accepts subscriptions; anyone attempting to subscribe since publication ceased has been/will be refunded. I apologize to those left hanging with partially completed subscriptions, which has caused me sleepless nights. Piecemeal monetary reimbursement is not possible right now as I seek acceptable alternative solutions. One possibility might be filling the balance with available back issues, of which there remain many. Those in that position should please advise if it’s something you would consider (e-mail address below).
Along the way, of course, many things have been said. True, obligations to current subscribers in the end were not fulfilled. Other accusations are NOT true. For example, one member here publicly suggested the magazine’s website is a front to solicit promo submissions for surreptitious sale on Discogs.com. This definitely (and demonstrably) is untrue. Yes, out of financial necessity I opened a Discogs store to liquidate items from my personal music collection (CDs/DVDs/vinyl) plus items I bought wholesale, along with some promos (via multiple sources, not just Progression) dating chiefly from 1996-2011. Since 1992 most promotional discs sent to Progression for review were parsed out to reviewers. The rest including duplicates, items we had insufficient space to review and items I reviewed personally, stayed with me. At no time have promos been sought through Progression targeting re-sale, anywhere. I honestly cannot imagine how, even with all that happened, anyone could suggest such a thing.
In closing, from the bottom of my heart I wish to thank everyone who supported me and the magazine throughout our headfirst dive into the oft-bumpy, glorious unknown of independent publishing. I knew what I wanted with Progression but obviously didn’t know what to expect. One guy serving thousands of people over a quarter century wasn’t the best formula for 100-percent customer satisfaction, but I hope we at least made some of you feel better informed along the way. Thanks again.
Your friend in prog,
Scummy Leech (a/k/a John Collinge)
P.S. I recently was notified of some back-issue orders left unfilled from a webstore data recovery glitch. Anyone potentially affected by this please e-mail me directly at [email protected]. You also can message me there with other questions, comments, complaints, insults, etc. I promise to respond.”