Is The Source finally dead?
The other day, while I was in the store picking up some bread and what have you, I picked up the most recent isssue of The Source and flipped through it. It was shitty enough that I can't even remember what was in it. I was interested to see what The Source would be like after I read a few weeks ago that they canned a full half of their full-time staff, i.e. two people including Editor-in-Chief Fayhim Or Whatever.
They had already shed quite a bit of people in the past year or so, which resulted in issues coming out sporadically, if at all, and being pretty thin on content when they did. Last year, they had that special 200th issue with Ice Cube on the cover, which was a joke compared to the 100th issue they put out back in late '97/early '98, and then it seems like there wasn't another issue for months. As I noted on this site, I just assumed they went out of business.
As it turns out, they probably just ran out of money. I assumed things had hit rock bottom and hence took a turn for the better when they filed for bankruptcy last fall. I'm not sure exactly how the law works (I was pre-med), but I figured that would absolve them of their massive debt so that they could focus on turning a profit once again. (I must be confusing bankruptcy with some other legal concept.)
The thing is, even in the period after Dave Mays and Benzino were ousted and things got a bit rocky and then again after they went bankrupt and start canning anyone who had the sheer balls to ask when their check was coming, nothing about those issues suggested that they had any kind of ambition.
I mean, if you were running a magazine that had been through so much shit already and was in constant danger of going out of business, wouldn't you be trying to publish the craziest shit possible to get people to actually pick up a copy. Instead, The Source just seemed to become a half-assed version of XXL with a politics section consisting of stories wantonly pilfered from Bol's Saturday Night Workout.
Hence I could only feel so sorry for them when I read yesterday that The Source has filed for bankruptcy yet again. (Apprently, sometimes companies have to file for bankruptcy twice in one year.) I'm not sure what their story was last time, but this time they're claiming they can't get anyone to advertise because people are still pissed about Dave Mays and Benzino.
This despite the fact that a) they made a big show of firing Mayzino last year, even going so far as to announce it on the cover of the next issue, b) they were running covers with Interscope artists (albeit a weed carrier like Lloyd Banks) and full-page ads announcing they were back in bed with Interscope, and c) literally half of their last issue consisted of ads for Roc-A-Wear.
Here's a few other fun facts about The Source as of late, courtesy of a story in the Houston Chronicle:
The company also issued bad checks to former employees and creditors, and abruptly stopped sending magazines to some 140,000 subscribers. Kable News Co., the company in charge of the subscription database for The Source, has entered a pre-bankruptcy claim of about $117,500 for lost subscriptions. Since 2002, magazine subscriptions have dropped by more than half.
So what does this all mean for The Source? It's hard to say. According to its lawyer, Stasson Goines, The Source plans to "exit bankruptcy as a reorganized entity," which usually means a company is going to fire whoever's still left at this point and shift production to Mexico. I'm not sure if that would be possible with a magazine though.