User-Gen Mag Publisher 8020 Media Closes

imageLacking the funds to keep going, social media magazine publisher 8020 Media is closing after two years, WSJ reported. The San Francisco company’s struggles were showing back in August, when it shuttered travel mag Everywhere, leaving it with one title, JPG, which focused on photography and had a circulation of 50,000. Content for both magazines came almost entirely from readers, who submitted their reviews and photos to the mags’ respective websites. 8020 was started by CNET founder Halsey Minor, who boasted that bringing user-generated content to print would revolutionize the publishing industry since it cost relatively little to run and would tap into the growing use of social networking.

As Halsey said in a note to friends, which was obtained by NYT’s Bits Blog, “The riddle of having a sound web platform support that drives interactivity with a print product has been solved,” but the timing of the global economic collapse made it impossible to bring it to profitability. The company had been trying to sell itself to Meredith Corp (NYSE: MDP). and Conde Nast, but so far, hasn’t been able to strike a deal. 8020 was also unable to attract additional funding to keep the company afloat, as Minor declined to put any more of his money into the business. The company had 18 employees.

However, word of the company’s demise has generated some interest from prospective buyers for JPG, Techcrunch reported, identifying photo-sharing site SmugMug as one potential savior.

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