Behold, the second-last-ever cover of PC Format Magazine. In an announcement on the magazine’s website, (and totally not an April fool’s joke) editor Garth Holden announced that the magazine’s local business would be shutting down after a record 206 issues and almost two decades of service to the South African public. Its a big loss for the country’s computer enthusiasts and leaves a gaping hole for geeks who prefer to read local opinions instead of the words of overseas hardware critics.
Full disclosure: I did a bit of freelance work as a copy editor for PC Format while Nicholas Boerma steered the ship and they are all really cool people. I was also a bit of an asshat towards them in a column I wrote in 2012. I’m still sorry that I did that.
In his announcement to fans, readers and the media, Holden announced that the May 2014 issue would be their last. Its not clear what will happen to the staff writers and employees of the magazine under the Panorama wing.
“Some of you might know that I was brought into PCF to turn things around, due to a downward spiral in readership and a bevy of complaint emails. It wasn’t easy work and it wasn’t always the most pleasant exercise talking to people who felt they had been snubbed or ignored in the past, making apologies for the behaviour of people I had never met.”
“While I did make progress, thanks to a redesign and fresh approach to the content in the magazine, the plummet in copy sales was stopped. It did sometimes feel like my hands were occupied with the task of keeping my fingers in leaky holes rather than achieving bigger plans, but sometimes there is only so much you can do with limited support.”
“Let me not dwell on this, as everything is still too raw to process correctly and I have seen too many defamation lawsuits flying around of late and I am so tired of red tape right now.”
In his column about the shutdown, Holden also thanks fans and readers of the magazine for their support over the years and acknowledges the roles played by the distributors and manufacturers who made opportunities possible for the magazine.
“To continue the naval imagery, the captain is going down with his ship. I am being retrenched, with April being the last month of my employ. While I will do my utmost best to stay in the industry, I know that there are many, many other people who are also trying to carve a section out for themselves. You will still find me floating around the internet, and hopefully at gaming events too. Sadly this is not something I can control, but I hope to see you all and hear from you again.”