The Ottawa-based satirical magazine Frank has folded.

It will no longer poke fun at high-profile people — either online or in print, it was announced in an e-mail to subscribers on Tuesday.

Publisher Michael Bate confirmed to CBC News this is no "Frank prank."

"It's time to fold it up. It's not a business model that works any more," he said.

The magazine is no longer profitable, he said, explaining it was difficult to compete with online news and gossip blogs.

Things have changed dramatically since Frank was founded19 years ago. The paper magazine, which publishes every two weeks, had a tough time breaking a story ahead of internet news sites, he said.

"There was a time when Frank would break stories and print information you just couldn't find anywhere else," Bate said. "Those off-the-record stories and stories that used to be among the media or a small political elite, now …are on the internet."

Stories such as Pierre Trudeau's love child were broken in Frank, before being picked up later by Canadian newspapers and becoming "legitimate news stories," Bate said.

Bate also bemoaned the dullness of the current political scene. Since the huge target of Conrad Black was jailed and Belinda Stronach retired from politics, there are fewer colourful characters on the public scene, he said.

A few years ago, Frank Magazine had an unsuccessful stint under business journalist Fabrice Taylor, who remodelled Frank to cover Bay Street.

But after circulation fell off quickly, the publication returned to Bate.

"Either we were fighting off creditors or fighting off lawsuits. It was never boring," he said, recalling his tenure with the magazine.

Bate said this is truly the end for the satirical magazine — he cannot see how such a magazine can survive in Canada.

"We did have subscribers online, but not enough of them," he said.

Frank's online efrank.ca and the bimonthly paper edition ceased publishing Tuesday. The last paper edition, after more than 500 issues, is now on sale at newsstands.

An independently owned and separately operated Frank magazine operates out of Halifax.