Published Aug 02, 2011Over the weekend, rumours began circulating over the social network that longtime Canadian music publication Chartattack would be ceasing operations. But have the rumours of Chartattack's demise been greatly exaggerated?
Late Friday (July 29) afternoon, managing editor Aaron Brophy sent an email to Chartattack.com contributors that read, "Effective immediately, Chart Communications is suspending publication of the website Chartattack.com." This would seem to suggest that the site was shutting down.
However, in an email exchange with Exclaim!, co-founder and publisher Edward Skira said, "The site's not done."
At press time, Skira had yet to respond to follow-up emails requesting further details. But whatever the case, it seems certain that at least one chapter in Chartattack's long run has ended.
Started by York University students Skira and Nada Laskovski, Chartattack began life as campus radio tip-sheet the National Chart, a publication of the National Campus Radio Association. It branched off into a paid national music magazine in the early '90s, and Chartattack.com began as the digital offshoot of Chart Magazine, which ceased publication in January 2009 due to dwindling advertising revenues. The site soldiered on, continuing to compile weekly campus radio charts, as well as offering up a selection of reviews, features and daily music news.
Exclaim! and Chart travelled similar paths, both having links to Toronto campus radio stations. Early issues of Exclaim! even featured the National Chart college radio chart. Many of Exclaim!'s contributors, including editor-in-chief James Keast, also wrote for Chart in both its physical and digital incarnations.
The Twitter hash-tag #ripchart emerged over the weekend, revealing the staggering number of Canadian music journalists and writers in general who wrote for the mag.
While the brand might still take on another form, in keeping with the Chart tradition of eulogizing high-profile deaths and band break-ups, we give you Five Reasons Chart Was Cool:
1. In both its physical and digital formats, Chart covered a wide swath of Canadian music, from Avril to Anvil, and nothing was either too indie or mainstream.
2. Chart's annual Canadian Music Week showcases at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto always featured some of the fest's best up-and-coming bands and were frequently packed to capacity.
3. Nardwuar the Human Serviette was a longtime contributor, providing yet another outlet for his zany, insightful interviews.
4. The magazine helped to shape a critical canon in Canadian music. In the three separate readers polls compiling the 50 best Canadian albums of all time, Sloan's Twice Removed was voted No. 1 twice (in 1996 and 2005). Joni Mitchell's Blue took the No. 1 slot in 2000.
5. Fittingly, former managing editor Aaron Brophy's lone tweet Friday afternoon read: "The sun is shining and Twice Removed is playing. Cool."