BELLA Caledonia is to keep on going, after members of the advisory board backed plans to completely restructure the politics and culture magazine.
On Sunday it looked as if the 10-year-old website was about to be scrapped for good after editor Mike Small wrote a post saying: “Thanks to everyone for their support over the years, to the board members and writers and to everybody who supported us financially and who took part in the debate. Couldn’t quite manage to do it.”
Small had written to the board members past and present on the Saturday before saying: “Bella’s finances are in a bad way.”
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He had told them the site couldn’t “pay contributors for now” and offered to work in a voluntary capacity for a few months and suggested ending the site in February.
However, a lack of response from board members led Small to chide them on Sunday, accusing them of being disinterested. Hours later he had closed the site.
That decision came as surprise to the board, who later issued a statement saying they were “looking at other funding models and appealing for urgent help to finance the magazine in a more permanent way”.
At an emergency meeting on Tuesday night between Small and the board, there was a unanimous vote “to keep the online magazine going”.
In a statement released after the meeting, the board said: “Editor and co-founder Mike Small agreed to stay on as editor with additional editorial, administrative and business support while Bella is completely restructured – the site will keep publishing but the company will close almost immediately and re-start as a media collective.”
Board member, writer and co-founder Kevin Williamson said, “This weekend’s closure announcement by Mike Small arose from the constant pressure of being the sole individual responsible for almost every aspect of Bella’s publicity, production, commissioning and financing. We realise it’s too much for one person to manage.”