Since my last post, I’ve read more on the CQ Magazine issues…eHam is always a place to find rants and raves! I’ve enjoyed this publication for years but shifted completely to the digital format a few years ago. Storing paper can be trying.
The current issue seemed fairly peppy in content. When I finished read it on my iPad, something seemed a bit off. I then realized that I had seen nary an ad by MFJ Enterprises. I quickly verified this from the list of advertisers. Hmm. MFJ has been the highest page purchaser in both CQ and QST for a long time. My sources confirmed that the CQ loss was due to the issue shrinkage that CQ Magazine underwent this past year. Not refunding pre-paid advertising can be construed as non-delivery of a product or service. Many understand hard times but few will tolerate being shorted on what was paid for, especially if one is the largest customer of advertising. I guess that MFJ decided that it’s money spends well elsewhere!
I’ve not dropped my digital subscription to CQ Magazine as I have another year or so left. But I’ll wait and see, like many others. It will be difficult to recover the revenues from advertising that MFJ bought each issue but there’s room for others to buy, too. That may mean a further downward spiral. eHam’s Forums have had beaucoup naysayers on CQ's issues, that’s for sure. Whether they make it another few years or not is an open question, IMHO.
While I was pondering this subscription, I wondered over the the Royal Society of Great Britain's website (http://rsgb.org). I had been there numerous times before but not in the frame of mind to join. With my recent work with the ICQ Podcast team as erstwhile U.S. correspondent, I had vicariously kept up with Society happenings (and woes). I like the «blokes» involved in the ICQ Podcast very much and have a great feeling about the hams in the UK… streaming HF QSOs from the UK to my desktop frequently using WebSdr.org's plethora of online receivers. It makes editing manuscripts and writing go humming along!
I joined the RSGB for about what I’ve been paying for CQ Magazine. Perhaps a bit more. But I quickly received a great welcome package from across the pond containing my membership pin, some other swag, and a recent copy of the magazine, RadCom. Quickly I received an email note about a digital addition, RadCom Plus. The issue of RadCom I received was easily on par with CQ and the UK-centric information was easily generalizable to the U.S., by and large. I enjoyed it a great deal and am looking forward to the next one.
So if you’re on the edge about CQ Magazine, let’s hope that it makes it and even prospers. That would be the best thing for amateur radio in the U.S. and internationally was well. You might consider joining the RSGB. It’s a great pairing with the ARRL, where I was elected to Life Membership a year or two ago. (OK, that actually freed up a few dollars to join the Royal Society, pinch-penny that I am!) Doing something to add joy to your hobby is better than ranting and raving on… even on eHam!