The Texas Observer lives on, after a successful fund-raising campaign.
Observer staffers harvested $300,000 in a national crowd-sourcing appeal, keeping alive the fearless searchlight of Texas politics and culture.
The rush of donations led the Observer's board to reverse its previous decision to close the magazine by this week. Board members apologized to the magazine's 17 staffers for not informing them of the shutdown and impending layoffs. The staff learned about the bad news through an article in the rival Texas Tribune.
In saving the Observer, the board called for changes to its financial structure, including possibly ending the print edition and shfting to online offerings solely. The magazine at present doesn't have a pay wall and refuses advertising, depending on print subscriptions and donations.
Begun in 1954 by Ronnie Dugger, the Observer is revered for its investigations of political corruption in Texas and its writing on Texas literature and culture.
Molly Ivins, who went on to a career as a nationally known columnist, edited the magazine for several years. Willie Morris also edited the magazine before taking over Harper's magazine, where he published many ground-breaking new journalism articles before being fired by the publication's upset owners.
Board members and others noted that while the Observer is venerated by older readers, it hasn't connected with younger generations consumed by social media.
With the Texas Tribune and Texas Monthly covering the Lone Star State's conflicts between extreme conservative politicians and its liberal cities, the Observer's print edition has fallen to 4,000 subscribers, many of them nostalgic for the old progressive politics of late Gov. Ann Richards.
The Observer now seeks to appeal to young newcomers to Texas, whom Democratic politicians keep saying will turn the state blue some day. That could be a tough sale: Hipsters in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio have limited interest in political news.