Record World, one of the trio of important weekly music industry trade publications that also includes Billboard and Cashbox, filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on March 22, according to informed sources. Staffers were informed April 6 that the magazine had ceased publication.
Record World did not publish its March 27 edition, fueling industry rumors that it was on the verge of folding. "We missed an issue and pending refinancing, we're going to try to get an issue out," vice president and editor-in-chief Mike Sigman said at the time. Issues dated April 3 and 10 did come out as scheduled, but the necessary financing did not materialize.
Statements at the bankruptcy hearing listed Record World's accounts payable at $924,803 as of Feb. 28, 1982. Total assets were listed as $538,000 against liabilities of $733,000. Specifically, $334,958 was owed its current printer (Jersey Printing Co. of Bayonne), and $75,000 to a previous printer (Dispatch Press of Jersey City). According to a Billboard story this week, Record World's bank accounts have been seized by Republic National Bank.
There had been reports over the last two years that both Record World and Cashbox had been seriously affected by record industry advertising cutbacks. With fewer companies and fewer dollars, ad money tended to be concentrated at Billboard, the leading music industry trade magazine. "The advertising cutback is one of the major problems," Sigman conceded several weeks ago.
Record World, in its 18th year, had been trying to overcome internal problems that last year saw one publisher buying out his former partner. There had also been a steady trickle of Record World writers to other publications, and to the 88-year-old Billboard in particular. Said one insider, "Their difficulty was living in the shadow of an industry that has had problems over the last two or three years, and diminishing ad revenue is at the heart of it. It's a question of economics. The industry couldn't afford to advertise across the board as it once did."
Record World also suffered in subscriptions, its 17,000 lagging far behind Billboard's 45,000; Cashbox's circulation is around 20,000.