We’re slowing down our publishing schedule this summer to focus on making our work sustainable.
As a Tone Madison reader, you probably know that we’re a small media outlet trying to do a lot with a little. This summer we have to momentarily step back and make some decisions about how to make our work sustainable in the long run. We’re going to be taking a publishing hiatus during the remainder of June and early July.
We’re not going away and will still be running a few already planned stories and event previews here and there, but we won’t be publishing as frequently as we usually do and won’t be putting out new episodes of our podcast (except for one due out this afternoon unless something pressing pops up. Behind the scenes, we’ll be recharging a bit but mostly working on making sure we have the revenue we need to make this work; making some tweaks to our website, including getting our story archives restored; and revisiting some projects that always seem to get left on the back burner. Think of it as construction season, but for a small arts journalism website.
We’ve been running Tone Madison now for almost four years on a shoestring. Our priorities have always been to provide a unique, independent voice, serve our readers and listeners, and to treat our contributors well. We’ve been pleasantly shocked by the number of readers and donors we’ve attracted and the number of writers, audio producers, and artists stepping up to add their voices. Our freelance contributors and our sales director, Melissa Badini, make heroic efforts amid already busy schedules. It’s grown faster than we were really prepared for. Associate Publisher Chris Lay and I probably put in a combined 60 hours or more per week on Tone Madison, and that’s on top of working the jobs that actually pay us. I’m not complaining, exactly, because we love doing this and absolutely believe it’s worth it, but with workaholics like Chris and me there’s always the danger of burnout, and that’s no good for anyone.
Our focus for the next month or so will really be on making sure that Tone Madison has what it needs to last. I’m insanely grateful for all the support we’ve received over the past few years, and I hope you will be patient with us while do the things we need to do in order to come back better than ever.