1. ITV Report

Musicians pay tribute as NME announces end to weekly print publication

Music magazine NME's last front cover Credit: PA

Music magazine NME has announced it will cease print publication after 66 years, when it releases its final edition on Friday.

The magazine, which launched in 1952, blamed rising production costs and a "tough" advertising market for its decision.

It will be "focusing investment on further expanding NME's digital audience", said magazine owners Time Inc.

Tributes from Kasabian, Lily Allen and many more have poured for the world famous magazine, whose front page launched the careers of many musicians.

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Indie rockers The Libertines were one of the first bands to pay tribute to NME, writing on Twitter: "Very sorry to hear about the @NME issuing its last print edition.

"Love to all the writers there who've helped us over the years, and to all of you that picked up a copy. Blessed to have had you in our corner."

The magazine's move to free print in 2015 helped it achieve its biggest ever online audience however rising production costs and a tough advertising market meant production was no longer financially viable.

Paul Cheal, Time Inc UK group managing director, Music, said: "The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of.

"At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market."

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Publishers said NME would continue releasing special issues in print.

The development comes at a difficult time for the magazine world, with Glamour announcing it would be printing a paper magazine only twice a year, and with its online site focusing on beauty.

NME said new services, as part of its digital extension, would include new music channels and a weekly franchise, The Big Read, online, replacing the weekly cover star interview.

Keith Walker, digital director of NME, said: "NME has been at the digital forefront for more than two decades. Our global digital audience has almost doubled over the past two years.

"With these new developments, we are giving consumers even more of what they want from us. By making the digital platforms our core focus, we can accelerate the amazing growth we've seen and reach more people than ever before on the devices they're most naturally using."