Why it’s time to turn a page on The Word Magazine

After over 10 years of publishing The Word Magazine, we’ve decided to turn a page and focus exclusively on The Word Radio. Here’s why.

When I first started working on what would go on to become The Word Magazine back in 2007, I was a fresh-faced London returnee with a passion for print, a new-found curiosity in the country I hadn’t called home for the past 8 years and a great deal of naiveté. Back then, The Bulletin ruled supreme, Alex Deforce was still running On-Point, Julien Mourlon’s LDBK Radio was pioneering a new form of radio on Mixcloud, Vice still had a Belgian print edition, WIELS was about to open to the public, Thursdays at Delecta were the norm and Lefto still worked part-time at Foot Locker.

I’m not going to pull the old “those were the days” argument on you, although I will say this: these people, places and projects, as well as so many others, were instrumental in, one way or the other, fine-tuning my eye right from the beginning and shaping The Word into what it was about to become. People, that really was the key to this thing.

There was my childhood friends Ben and Yas, with whom I pretty much launched the magazine. My day-one graphic designers Delphine, Pierre and Damien with whom I pretty much launched the magazine. Photographer Sarah Eechaut with whom I pretty much launched the magazine. My partner Meli with whom I pretty much launched the magazine. The then Brussels-based Hettie Judah with whom I pretty much launched the magazine. So many people – too many of course to list them all – contributed to this project over the years.

Bart, Joke, Miles, Sarah, Rose, Ulrike, Eva, Karen, Gregoire, David, Emilie, Lisa, Raya, Renasha, Lara, Baptiste, Simon, Constant, Antoine, Charline, Sophie, Axelle, Alexandre, Sebastien, Flore, Alasdair, Monika, Antoine, Brian, Devrim, Diane, Dorien, Didier, Dimitri, Ewald, Hans, Ida, Jeff, Jack, Oskar, Julie, Sean, Fabi, Lander, Lauren, Sam, Marcus, Marina, Jill, Max, Melika, Nadia, Pauline, Philippe, Jacob, Kaat, Philippe, Victor, Rozan, Ruby, Samantha, Sharanya, Stephanie, Toon, Cedric, Yana, Yasmin, Youssra and a few I’m not doubt forgetting.

Why this walk down memory lane? Because, sadly, it is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that I’ve decided to put an end to The Word Magazine and its website.

The decision had been brewing for a few months now and, together with the rest of the team, we finally concluded three weeks ago that it was the right thing to do. Indeed, after having published the magazine for over 10 years, I felt as though the current shifts in the advertising market – of which the magazine was entirely dependent – no longer could sustain its business model.

That being said, we will continue pushing forward with The Word Radio, a platform we launched just over a year ago and which we believe still holds a lot of potential in promoting and nurturing little-known talents to wider audiences. We also will continue publishing our weekly cultural agenda which will be re-launched on Thursday 9th May on www.theword.radio. And, last but not least, we will continue hosting events in various locations across Belgium in partnership with cultural institutions, festivals and other like-minded players on the scene. The next one is tomorrow at deSingel in Antwerp, full details on the event’s Facebook page.

So we’re not exactly ending the adventure, we’re just re-calibrating it somewhat to fit our changing ambitions and an ever-evolving market.

To finish off I want to pay a special tribute to my team of later years: Guillaume Kidula, Emi Vergels, Julien Pik, Souria Cheurfi and Thomas Ost. We made a strong team, and I’ll forever be grateful to you all for having ensured we bowed out whilst still firmly at the top. Calling it quits on the magazine after the stellar few years we just had and following an absolute killer February-March edition was a tough call to make, and one which I wouldn’t have been able to do without your backing.

Nicholas Lewis.

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