's editor has asked each of the magazine's subscribers to find one other person to pay subscription fees after a week of financial disaster-prediction reports.

David Talbot's letter to readers claims that if each current subscriber finds one other, the site will break even this year.

"Last week's flurry of news stories about Salon's imminent demise produced another wave of hate mail from those eager to dance on our grave," said Mr Talbot. "The fact that Salon never seems to actually die - despite the tone of absolute certainty in these perennial press obits that 'this time, yes, it MUST be going under!' - never diminishes these letter writers' bloodlust.

"In the current economic climate, advertising cannot be counted on to secure Salon's future."

Earlier this month stories reported that Salon had been unable to pay most of its bills since last year.

Digital Bulletin said: "It has been revealed in a filing to the US Securities & Exchange Commission that Salon has been unable to pay most of its bills since December. If no new cash is forthcoming, the company, which is behind 10 web sites including, will be forced to close."

It also claimed that the magazine still owes $200,000 in rent to its San Francisco landlord.

Patrick Hurley, senior vice-president of business operations, told dotJournalism: "We have next to no debt. What we had are losses of about $55 million over seven-plus years, with the remaining $25 million or so in non-cash accounting charges.

"Beyond the wire stories, most of our thousands of archived articles will remain free to access - sans those that were Premium."

The magazine now offers a choice of $30 or $18.50 annual subscription plans.


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