Next Magazine to cease publication in Taiwan on Feb. 29

In a statement on its website, the publisher attributed its closure to the operational transformation of its parent company, Hong Kong-based media conglomerate Next Digital. (NOWnews)
In a statement on its website, the publisher attributed its closure to the operational transformation of its parent company, Hong Kong-based media conglomerate Next Digital. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Taiwan version of the tabloid Next Magazine confirmed Thursday that it will cease online publication on Feb. 29, less than two years after closing its print edition and almost two decades after launching on the Taiwan market.

In a statement on its website, the publisher attributed its closure to the operational transformation of its parent company, Hong Kong-based media conglomerate Next Digital.

In the statement, the company said it would protect the rights of its employees and subscribers, the latter of which will be given the choice of a cash refund or transferring their subscription to Taiwan’s Apple Daily website — a sister publication.

Meanwhile, Next Magazine’s historical content will remain available on the Apple Daily website, the statement said.

Reports of Next Magazine’s planned closure first broke on Wednesday, with Taiwan media sources ascribing the decision to long-term operational losses.

In response to the announcement, the Association of Taiwan Journalists on Wednesday said the company had failed to submit a mass redundancy plan for the approximately 100 employees affected by the closure, and called on the Ministry of Labor (MOL) to intervene on the their behalf.

Next Magazine and the MOL have yet to respond to the claims.

Next Magazine was launched as a weekly print publication in Taiwan on May 31, 2001, covering general news while also emphasizing paparazzi-style reporting on entertainment and society topics.

On Apr. 4, 2018, it ended its print version after 880 editions, and continued as a subscription-based online publication.

Both Next Magazine and Apply Daily are owned by Next Digital, which was founded by the Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy businessman Jimmy Lai (黎智英).