Cash-strapped Spike in strife

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 12:00am

Satirical magazine Spike's survival was in doubt yesterday after rumours it would be closing after the collapse of a rescue deal.

While Spike publisher Stephen Vines would not confirm the closure, sources at the magazine said staff had received an e-mail from Mr Vines saying negotiations for a further injection of funds had fallen through and the magazine would be closing.

It is unclear what caused the potential backers to walk away from the multimillion-dollar rescue, which has been under negotiation for several months.

Mr Vines had said in June that the publication was having business troubles, but was upbeat at the time about the chances of keeping it afloat.

Last night he was telling a different story.

'Unfortunately, I can't tell you anything. We're in the middle of something here and it would be staggeringly unhelpful of me to say anything at the moment,' he said.

'There's nothing I can say that will be helpful to the magazine.'

Spike's blend of comedy, commentary and hard-edged news and analysis has won it a loyal following, but the magazine has always struggled with circulation in the city's saturated print media market.

Early subscriber Angela Leary said if the magazine were to disappear, it would be a great loss.

'I think it was a very brave move by the people who started it. It had some very good writers and it is always good to have dissenting voices in order to keep the rest of the media honest,' she said.

'And the satire was great too. I really hope they can rescue it.'