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  • Road & Track Magazine going to six issues

    It seems to be happening everywhere print is involved.

    just reading that R&T will be going to just six issues a year although they say total page count yearly will double to 1,000 pages and oh by the way I am no longer the editor either.

    first Scale Auto goes away entirely (to me their “try this” Fine Modeling is a huge disappointment, and feel no way a replacement (and no refund of my year subscription) and now this news.

    i know I am “Fred Flintstone “ with technology but something about flipping thru those pages can’t be replaced by the “swipe left”!

    dundee denny

  • #2
    Not sure how much is saved if they print double the current pages. Looks like it will cost more, but what do I know about the magazine business.

    I do remember Warren Buffet on CNBC one morning a couple years ago, talking about his current business and investment strategy. When asked about newspapers, he replied " I don't think it is a secure business model that cuts down trees and makes paper, prints stories on the paper and pays a person to deliver it, and tomorrow it is in the bottom of a bird cage or in the trash".

    Kind of makes sense. Holding a paper copy is nice, but the thrill wears off pretty quick and it either goes to a pile in the basement, recycling or trash. Magazines or papers.

    Nobody likes old magazines better than me, but I don't subscribe to any kind of paper anymore.
    Matt B
    So. In
    Crashers

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    • #3
      Popular Science went to 6 issues a year awhile ago. I still subscribe but don't like the new format (way the issues are laid out inside) so probably won't renew. I get it that it's hard to appeal to both an older and a younger audience so it's a balancing act. If they don't have younger readers they're doomed going forward.

      Our local newspaper no longer prints a Monday edition, it's online. It reduces their costs and also is an incentive for subscribers to check out the online offering which will likely be a larger part of their business model in the future. My wife looks forward to reading the paper at the kitchen table first thing in the morning but never has and never will go online to check out the electronic edition.

      A downside to losing printed media is connections to the past will be lost. I remember a talk in which someone said what a joy it was to stumble on a box of old photos and relive the past. In years to come people finding a bunch of computer disks or flash drives in a box or drawer will never know what's on them. They'll have been replaced by newer storage format versions and most people will have no way to check them out. But, a 50 year old prom or wedding picture is still instantly identifiable and can be enjoyed without technology.

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      • #4
        I hated to see Model Car Racing Magazine go digital. I have every issue. I like holding and flipping but we adjust. Guess it wont be long before I can't hold my Hot Rod or Car and Driver.

        Comment


        • WB2
          WB2 commented
          Editing a comment
          I, too, have every issue of MCRM.
          I don’t know why. It was a nice glossy publication that contained a lot of eye candy but very little quality content. All too often fluff pieces that weren’t complete; repetitive track plans for tracks that bore no resemblance to the real track; and what seemed like plugs for a certain tire manufacturer and custom track builder.
          While I was going through back issues just yesterday, I haven’t been tempted to look at the online version. Perhaps when I’m laid up next month. OTOH, I’m sure I’ll hit Lulu and purchase downloads of Slot Car Magazine to read on the iPad.

      • #5
        I started reading Road&Track in 1961, I bought it at a news stand until I took out a subscription in about 1974. I have kept every issue. Other magazines that I subscribe to are saved for a few years, then thrown out. Road&Track used to be mostly a sports car magazine with race coverage. I expect that fewer people today are interested in sports cars, so now there are articles on SUVs, trucks and motorcycles as well. I am not interested in those, besides they have their own publications. I have begun to call the magazine Offroad&Truck.
        Perhaps with six issues a year they will save on shipping costs. Chances are that paper copies will go away in a few years.

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        • #6
          I worked for the Washington Post in the early '90's, when they were developing the WAPO online presence. My department was "Advertising Promotion," which meant advertising the Post to advertisers. Stuff like, "if you want to reach African-American doctors in Bethesda, advertise here in the Post because we have XXX subscribers of that demographic in Bethesda". We used very detailed research to determine where readers were and how to reach them. We were charged with coming up with a campaign to promote the WAPO website; the interesting thing was that the publishers didn't want us to do a very thorough job of promoting the online stuff because they were worried that it would do away with the print version. As for "cheaper" to run online, that was a pipe dream. The ENTIRE print version had about 175 employees at the time; the website employed 300, and DIDN'T include reporters or editors, just people who were designers and layout folk. We were constantly told "Don't do a great job of touting the features of the website...we want to continue to print." My feeling at the time (and still is) you don't read your laptop on the subway (unless it has wi-fi), and you certainly don't use it to wrap fish or line the birdcage. Like Isaac Asimov said, "A book is the ultimate cassette, all you need is light." No batteries, no plugs, just light.

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          • #7
            Do young people care at all about magazines? I would be surprised to hear that. I thought their whole lives were online and being facebook. Guys like us can get a lot of enjoyment out of old car magazines., There are a lot of good mags from the late 50's and 60's you can find on Ebay pretty cheap.I am pretty selective, but have bought 30 or so different racing mags from back in the day.

            I bought a few issues of the model car racing mag in the beginning. I enjoyed the pictures, but really isn't much else guys like us can take away form it. We are usually 2 steps ahead with the info we share right here. There is no better site on the internet for do it yourself slotters like us. Casting, 3D, wiring, painting, it's all here and we are all experts!
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            Matt B
            So. In
            Crashers

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            • WB2
              WB2 commented
              Editing a comment
              Two words: Racing Pictorial.
              Wish I had never gotten rid of my old copies. Great photographic resource for Indy, stock, and open wheel racers from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
              Some still available on the auction site.

          • #8
            Often old magazines have been scanned and are available in a PDF format. I have all of the issues of Model Car and Track on CD-ROMs. After my parents sold their house I had to dump most of my paper copies. Some old magazines may be available on line. A guy that I race with published a short story in a science fiction magazine years ago and I was able to find that online.

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            • #9
              More sad magazine news, I may not renew my Model Car Racing Magazine when current subscription expires, I hate online 'magazines'. As for Car & Driver, haven't read it in years as it doesn't interest me anymore and have no desire for a new car every year with more payments lol.

              Comment


              • SlotCat
                SlotCat commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, I know and am sad about the loss of print magazines, not the same at all. I'd pay extra for printed media, don't wanna print them out and staple together, not the same either and no glossy pictures.

              • WB2
                WB2 commented
                Editing a comment
                Are you sure that #112 was a print edition?
                The ones I had and their website states #111 was the last print edition.
                What’s wild is them saying the electronic editions through #114 are sold out. How does one sell out an electronic edition?

              • arroldn
                arroldn commented
                Editing a comment
                WB2 Yes I have the 112 on my desk. My subscription was merged into the online addition. However no refund for the lost print issues.

            • #10
              Online publications are usually PDFs and you may me able to download and save them someplace. I often create Word documents that include pictures, when I convert those documents to PDFs the picture quality may suffer.

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              • #11
                I'm a luddite as well and proud of it I read books by the ton and keep them and I'm always running out of shelf space. I also like going to bookstores and rooting around though those are disappearing as well. I get a few mags (Time, Grassroots Motorsports though that's turned into a catalogue with a few articles thrown in, and Motor Sports which I've been getting from England for the last 6 years. Those issues I keep.) in the mail, and until last week, I got the local newspaper every day but they ended up being too red for me so I let it run out. Disappointing really because going down with the dogs and getting the paper at the end of the driveway every morning and then having my tea was a routine I liked.

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                • #12
                  Magazine fan here. I get why they are becoming less profitable, but still like them. Perhaps instead of monthly, or bi-monthly, those who publish slot magazines could go to 2 or 3 "book like" releases a year for those that still like hard copies. They would focus a little less on "what's new?" and more on techniques and features on custom built cars and of course, great layouts.

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                  • SlotCat
                    SlotCat commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Interesting idea about the book-like issues 2-3 times yearly.

                • #13
                  I assume Slot Cars Magazine is now defunct.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Slot magazines are in a world all their own. Probably more stamp collectors than slot car guys. So we start off with a small customer base. We have a magazine that basically covers the actual slot cars that haven't changed much since the 70's, although we do have digital, however small it is. We get new cars that basically are just the same car with a different body. You can show some nice color pictures and give an evaluation which should be the same as the last evaluation you gave for that manufacturer.

                    You can show home tracks, which we all like to see. Pretty easy to see them on the internet, too.

                    You can give painting tips, but paint is about the same as always, Casting, which we like but is not a big interest for most slotters. Same for 3D printing. That pretty much covers the current slot car world. Not a lot of new stuff for us and most other slotters. Great pix to look at, but the substance, not so much.

                    In the 60's our numbers were a thousand times what they are now. Slot/model mags were common on news stands, raceways and hobby shops back then. There really wasn't much new info issue to issue, but so many companies made such a diverse bunch of cars and the engineering changed so quick that they did have now content month to month. Even back then us kids spent more time looking at the pix then reading the articles, just like Playboy. The massive number of kids back then kept these mags alive till we all started driving and getting jobs.

                    Now we check inhere every day and are on the cutting edge of current slot info.
                    Matt B
                    So. In
                    Crashers

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                    • #15
                      Originally posted by Dundee Denny View Post
                      It seems to be happening everywhere print is involved.

                      just reading that R&T will be going to just six issues a year although they say total page count yearly will double to 1,000 pages and oh by the way I am no longer the editor either.

                      first Scale Auto goes away entirely (to me their “try this” Fine Modeling is a huge disappointment, and feel no way a replacement (and no refund of my year subscription) and now this news.

                      i know I am “Fred Flintstone “ with technology but something about flipping thru those pages can’t be replaced by the “swipe left”!

                      dundee denny
                      Yeah... I, too, am digitally challenged, and would much prefer to receive my magazines in print, but it's all not as bad as it seems. First AutoWeek went to being Auto-every-other-Week, then shut down print altogether. At least I still get digital content from them on a daily basis (at no charge), which finally gets them back with up to date motorsports coverage, my reason for subscribing to AW in the first place, back in the late 1970s.
                      Kalmbach Publishing scratched Scale Auto (Enthusiast) with the October 2020 issue, and offered to fill remaining subscriptions with Fine Scale Modeler, OR refund the remaining few dollars on your subscription if you would prefer. I elected to give them one year to see how many contributions they will get from their automotive themed writers and make my decision when the time comes. I've had phone conversations with a few different people at Kalmbach about this subject, and have gotten some positive feedback from them all (not just sales talk, either).
                      As for Road and Track, one of the finest automotive magazines for many decades (in my opinion - I've been a subscriber since the late 1960s), I'm confident this new format they are bringing to their readers is going to be entertaining, informative, and presenting even more of the excellent photography and journalism that this publication has been known for.
                      I'm hoping things will be looking up once the new ideas are in place. And I'm still hoping that the new administration at Model Car and Slot Car magazines will get those two publications back up and running as they were, before the problems that overcame the previous handlers.
                      Good luck to all of us! -- Ernie
                      Last edited by BIG E; November 26, 2020, 05:39 PM.

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