I got a PM asking if I could comment. Well, donut pictures are more interesting, and to give a complete answer would take forever. I have very definite thoughts about the demise of music media, why it happened, how it could have been avoided, and why the mistakes that were made are fatal.
Short form: Sound on Sound and Tape Op are still around because they prioritized the readers, not the advertisers. I think Pro Sound News, Guitar Player, and Premier Guitar do as well. There was a period of time when corporate buyout people thought that magazines were successful because they had advertisers, so they catered to the advertisers. The reality is that magazines are successful if they have READERS, because then advertisers want to advertise in it.
But there's so much more to it than that...
The web allowed every manufacturer to become a publisher and spread their message, without needing mags.
Printing, paper, and postage are huge expenses. Back when I was doing Electronic Musician, those fixed costs alone ate up about 60% of the income. It's more now, After paying people and keeping the lights on, the margins are next to nothing.
Younger readers don't want to be burdened with physical objects. CDs are gone, DVDs are almost gone, IIRC Samsung is no longer going to make Blu-Ray players, etc. As I predicted in the early 90s, even before Napster, we would see the end of physical media. That's what has happened.
The internet has removed all filters and editorial vetting from content. I see YouTube videos with "pro tips" about recording that are major facepalm material. It's Gresham's Law applied to internet, where bad content drives out good.
Manufacturers are the new publishers of content. For example, I do a lot of writing for Waves, PreSonus, Magix, Full Compass, Sweetwater, sometimes Native Instruments, etc. etc. What's interesting is that these companies exert LESS editorial control than magazines every did! Magazines were always scared of offending advertisers, but the reality is that advertisers want customers to buy things for the right reason. They don't want to hype something and then have people post 1-star user reviews because a product didn't meet their expectations. All the companies hardly ever ask me to change anything, and the only times they have were for reasons not related to the accuracy of the article (e.g., they were relaunching a product, and would rather have an article written around that than around an older, similar product).
I really don't think I'll EVER do a tech-oriented book in print again. The Huge Book of Cakewalk by BandLab Tips book, and the four books done for Studio One, are all download-only. They VASTLY exceed sales of books done in print through a major publisher. Even better, I can submit a revised manuscript for an older book at any time - no stock, no returns - and run things right down to the deadline. For example. I did an eBook on the dynamics processors in Studio One 4.0. PreSonus said version 4.5 would be out in two weeks. I got a beta, made the changes, and the book was literally up to the minute when it was released. Print is horrible for turnaround, it can take six months and for tech stuff, and with that kind of latency, you might as well just ship them to a recycling center instead of a bookstore. My last Studio One book was 289 pages, and sold for $12.99. If that had been in print, I bet it would have been around $39.99.
This isn't to say some companies aren't trying. Guitar Player is building back up, Premier Guitar has always done well. But the world is changing. The companies that are in denial will fail. The ones that accept change have a chance to succeed.
One last thought: the eBook medium is yet to be fully exploited. In my PDF eBooks, I can have as many graphics as I want, with as big a font size as I want, with hyperlinks to musical examples and additional material, downloadable presets, links from the contents page to topics, and of course, search. Yes, there are advantages to print; no medium nails everything.
But thin k of it this way. Suppose Gutenberg had invented the eBook, and that's all we knew. And then someone says "Hey!! I've got a GREAT idea!!Let's kill a bunch of trees, process them into flat sheets using a variety of toxic chemical, have them take months if not more to put them into production, charge at least four times what current books cost, and have no search or hyperlinks!!!! " And then when someone says "That doesn't seem like that good an idea," the answer is "But you can read them while you're sitting on the toilet!"