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Motor Magazine ends 117 year run of turning out a printed magazine


KRK Sr.
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My Motor magazine arrived this week at work. In big red letters across the cover is the sad news " last printed issue". I am sure many of you have the January issues in your pre-war collections with artistic covers and and latest specs on the "new" cars. My 1920's and 1930's copies are one half inch thick. This weeks is a little over 1/8 inch thick. It is difficult to think this will save MOTOR money and the magazine will survive. I know I won't look at it from cover to cover on my laptop
.  CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE, I must be getting old! 1929 January issue below

IMG_3625[1].JPG

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Karl, if you think you are getting old then I am standing right next to you in line!!!!

Back in the early 1970s Austin Clark and I used to go to lunch with the MoToR magazine Editor Joe Oldham, he was a great guy and our usual venue for lunch was at Mamma Leone's in Manhattan, we would also meet there for the International Motor Press Association monthly meetings.

I agree with you, I won't look at the entire contents of a magazine on the computer. One of those pre war Jaunary show numbers of MoToR weighs more then a lap top!

Walt

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Boys, the times they are a-changing’. I rue the loss of so many print magazines of my youth (long ago!) but now I choose to embrace technology. Just received my Hemmings Classic on the iPad, look forward to reading it with no apparent eye strain after a couple of articles. 
The automotive giants who started all the great automobile companies in the first two decades of the 20th century surely embraced technology of the times in many ways!

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" One of those pre war Jaunary show numbers of MoToR weighs more then a lap top! " but every issue would fit on a $30 SD card. My 2nd floor den threatens to become a 1st floor room from the weight of the paper & my computer has a much better indexing system.

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Another victim of the computer age and it's immediate intelligence.

Printed media is dying a slow but certain death.

No poorer return than printed ads today.  Newspapers are folding up their tents, begging for people to subscribe to their online versions.

Info is more readily available.

Have you walked through a library lately?  Pretty lonely.

But I still miss a good monthly magazine.

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  • KRK Sr. changed the title to Motor Magazine ends 117 year run of turning out a printed magazine

Newspapers biggest problem is eBay!  The want ads in the newspapers were the cash cow that disappeared. Pages of one half inch ads that ran for a week or less at $20 paid up front. Eight to ten columns per page, 100-125 per column and 4 or 5 pages. Cost to process about $1.50 per add.   My business saw 110 magazines close in the last two years, the majority in 2020. The industry for print is on its last legs unless it is an association/club. Cost for this type mag is going up and will continue too as suppliers become less and less for printing. One of the most successful printers around loss over 7 million last year. How long can they keep that up?  
dave s 

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Newspapers have had a very hard time since I was a kid, the Harrisburg Patriot News had an early edition, morning edition, and evening edition. I think they are now a three day a week paper.

 

I grew up with printed material so I guess my generation are dinosaurs, and will always want printed copies so we can go back and reference them for years to come. I’m sure Walt and I will adjust to getting everything from a small white screen, but even on this forum there are sections that I might visit less than five times a year. Getting an email from MoToR won’t make me stop what I’m doing and start flipping through it. I do open paper MoToR and look at the index and spent five minutes deciding what I must read and what I might read before I get back to work. CHANGE? Not me.  

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Very sad, and think of possible creative possibilities being lost to the press of a button. Will art teachers in elementary school become obsolete - pencils with erasers disappear, as will crayons, pastels, cra pas, rulers, a compass to draw a circle, paint and a brush?  Sometimes creativity and history can only be made the old fashioned way .  Will historic publications after they are scanned and saved on a disc or ? then no longer be needed because they take up to much room to store? Will recycled paper be of period sales literature, instruction books, periodicals etc. ?

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

...but every issue would fit on a $30 SD card. 

 

48 minutes ago, KRK Sr. said:

CHANGE? Not me.  

 

I'll have to agree with Karl.  Liking a beautiful, well-crafted

book, or a magazine to read by the warm fireplace, does 

not make a person of any age a "fogey."

 

Digital processes may have a place, but try reading that

disk or other storage medium 20, 30, 50 years from now.

The equipment to read it may not exist, and it may not

be compatible with whatever software is then in use.

 

Suppose you stored all your family photos on an 8-inch

floppy disk in the early 1980's.  Could you read them?

A few years later, 5" floppy disks--do you still have that

disk drive?  Then in the 1990's, 3.5" hard disks?  Your

computer today might not even read those.  Yet a book

or a magazine from the 1990's, if cared for, is still practically

new.  I can appreciate car literature from 1920 clearly.

I can see oil paintings of ancestors, made 150 years

ago; yet a digital photo from the 1990's might be unreadable.

Are you going to switch media every 10 years, making

copy after copy of piles of old disks?

 

Think long term, folks!  Plan for the future, and--as we do

with our old cars--preserve it for generations to come!  

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Have seen change from TTY (parties when went from paper to mylar tapes), 9 track tapes, and plated wire then core memory. Nothing new. Am looking at a 4.77 Mhz 8088 luggable that runs DOS 6. Apple is the only one that has made planned obsolescence a business model.

 

Just built an XP machine to run golf car controller software & have both 5.25 and 3.5 USB disk readers. Other room has a couple of Kali Linux machines. Sill use 1994 image software (LVIEW - consider better than photoshop or paint).

 

Point is that picture, music (have about 500 albums on my phone with great indexing capability), and movie software has been standardized for a couple of decades while the media has changed (PNY 256GB U3 micro SD card is $30 on Woot) - my android phones do not consider storage capability to be a profit center).

 

Have seen my home access Internet go from 1200 baud dialup to about 100meg. Was a full time telecommuter for the last decade before retirement partly because had better equipment at home. First home computer had a 9" amber (was sick of green phosphor) screen, now on desktop with two 27s on sides and a 32 in the middle. 4k.

 

Guess have always been a technophile even back when SOA was a 45 player in a car and a stereo 2 track reel to reel.

 

The basic infotainment parameters are pretty much standardized and have been for a decade or so (Europe got widescreen TV long before the US) so unlikely to become obsolete, 75" 4k TV has no problem with a 480p VHS (do still have some laser disks that I'd have to dig out the player - never worked right anyway too much skipping. Now a Betamax player might take a few days to find).

 

ob AACA: all of my cars are equipped with handsfree, GPS, and steaming music from my cell phone using mag mounts. Is cheap. FM is easy, AM is a little harder.

 

So don't worry, be happy. Just don't by a device whose business model is based on stopping support for older devices.

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...and to bring this full circle, it's been my experience that when everyone else throws their hands in the air because the computer won't tell them which part the customer needs, the best man in the department is the old guy who reaches under the counter for the well thumbed parts catalog and opens it to the exact page on his first try.

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There was a time, not that long ago that I'd walk into Barns & Noble and pick up 3-4 car magazines without flipping through them, and maybe an aviation magazine if there was some interesting WWII feature. I always bought off the stand, because I didn't want the magazine damaged in the mail. Still have every magazine I bought starting with the July 1961 issue of Hot Rod. I can still remember placing the two quarters on the counter. There will always be a market for old books and magazines, but I don't fully understand the reason some books bring the money they do. I'm a book seller, not a reader, why would someone spend $200.00 for a First Edition of any book when a new one could be bought at B&N or online for $20.00 or less? Do they plan on reading the first edition or is it shelf decoration? I'd have no problem spending the $200.00 on original automotive literature, but that is different. That car literature is a link to the past and a time machine you can travel with as you look through it. Every once it a while I'll wonder just how a magazine is printed, start to finish, there has to be a video out there. Sad times as another joy from the past ends. 

 

Bob 

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Interesting question Bob.

I think the attraction for many (true collectors) when it comes to purchasing vintage first editions comes with being a fan of a particular author and actually owning a copy that was in print during their lifetime.

For instance, I've repeatedly read every scrap that Dickins and Poe have ever written and would enjoy having any of their first editions while they're still financially attainable. I would feel the same connection with the past that you do with the vintage automotive literature.

However a first edition Dante Alighieri or Milton would be completely out of the realm of possibilities for me! 😄

Cheers, Greg

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I subscribe to at least a dozen what used to be called car and motorcycle 'magazines.'  My wife subscribes to about half that many as well.  Given the option, I take the hard copy every time, and I read it, not the on line link.  I always thumb through each paper edition, usually after dinner, in a recliner with my feet up. 

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Bob, the magazine printing process has changed drastically in the 50 years I had my circulation fulfillment business. We maintained the subscription data base for the publishers. When we started a magazine was literally layed out on a table. The articles were type set and the plates were put on the press and run. There were at least 15-20 people involved in the process, then another 10 or so that did that did the labeling, mailing process. Computers came in and now one or two do the layout, two or three run the press and another two or three do the mailing process. To give you an idea of the automation we put the labels in the order the mail man walks his route!  The bar code has the zip, route number and sequence within it. The USPS requires it. The only thing that is going to save print is the fact as a younger generation gets older the number wanting hard copy has increased as they age. It may be the reason print survives. I guess somethings do improve with age besides wine. 
dave s 

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3 hours ago, GregLaR said:

Interesting question Bob.

I think the attraction for many (true collectors) when it comes to purchasing vintage first editions comes with being a fan of a particular author and actually owning a copy that was in print during their lifetime.

For instance, I've repeatedly read every scrap that Dickins and Poe have ever written and would enjoy having any of their first editions while they're still financially attainable. I would feel the same connection with the past that you do with the vintage automotive literature.

However a first edition Dante Alighieri or Milton would be completely out of the realm of possibilities for me! 😄

Cheers, Greg

Greg, You most likely will get some people here questioning your "true collectors" description as that may be interpreted as being bias or  "not fair" ( as I was accused of being here recently) but I can appreciate the desire to have a first edition of a volume of a favorite author. My own pursuit decades ago took that path when I wanted to have the original publication 'The Strand' magazine that had Arthur Conan Doyle  Sherlock Holmes stories in them . Bound volumes of these were fairly easy to obtain at used book stores in London on a trip there , and I am quite happy to have them .

Walt

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16 hours ago, Walt G said:

Karl, if you think you are getting old then I am standing right next to you in line!!!!

 

I subscribe online. If you think going digital makes you feel old read the articles. I am the oldest member of my family. If I didn't maintain and diagnose my own cars I would be zoning out at the family events, nephews are into cars. Modern ones. One throwback thinks an early '70's Marquis would be awesome. Another one will bring up All Data at the drop of a hat. I really appreciate the conversations. A little more techie than some families.

 

Different at our cousin's.

 

 

 

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Dunno about collecting, but have enjoyed reading all of my life, can "live" a book like no movie can do and have thousands of paperbacks left over from millions of air miles (being near deaf and in the same house for 35 years helps). Do buy books occasionally now that I do not travel (The Longest Auto Race, several copies of Stand On It) but mainly service manuals (have to measure in linear feet). Recent cars are mainly on .pdf (have every year Reatta and Allante factory service manual plus parts and special (Teves, folding tops, built in diagnostics) manuals that way, costs much less than paper, Bishko is a great supplier.

 

"finally sat down to read them and the lights went out" have back up generators.

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If my own buying habits are any indication, magazines are bound to be in trouble. At one time I bought quite a few off the news stand and subscribed to at least 4 . These days I haven't bought one in 2 or 3 years. Prices went up a lot 10 years ago or so, but with few exceptions

the content seemed to drift further away from my interests. As well, many of the cars themselves rose in price to the point where instead of

magazines providing information about cars I was interested in from a potential ownership point of view to just being a showcase for cars

that were hopeless from a potential ownership point of view. Might as well be looking at a super yacht magazine.

 These days I just save my magazine $ and spend them on 3 or 4  of the better , specialised subject, automotive books each year .

 

Greg

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So true!  You have to keep up with transferring data to the latest media.  I still have VHS videos of the family from 25 years ago that need to be digitized (I do still have a working VHS machine)...  And there's no need to justify collecting 1st edition books....  If one questions that, think about all of the other things people collect (antique automobiles?  How crazy is that!)

Quote

Suppose you stored all your family photos on an 8-inch

floppy disk in the early 1980's.  Could you read them?

A few years later, 5" floppy disks--do you still have that

disk drive?  Then in the 1990's, 3.5" hard disks?  Your

computer today might not even read those.  Yet a book

or a magazine from the 1990's, if cared for, is still practically

new.  I can appreciate car literature from 1920 clearly.

I can see oil paintings of ancestors, made 150 years

ago; yet a digital photo from the 1990's might be unreadable.

Are you going to switch media every 10 years, making

copy after copy of piles of old disks?

 

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Is easy, I have one of these. Only difugledy is the result is very large (about 5 GB/hour) so need video conversion software to make smaller. Also most VHS is only 480p 4x3 so looks fuzzy on a big screen 4k TV. And there was video recording before VHS, mostly 8 and 16mm. Are converters for that also.

 

Many of my early automobile movies are on VHS so I keep some player/recorders around.

 

If anyone is interested in either an automobile video or a movie thread, I'd be glad to help.

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I feel a certain simple satisfaction from holding that printed magazine in my hands. I very much want them to remain, yet...

 

For many years I was paying for subscriptions to 7-8 monthly magazines, plus getting several more "trades" for free, plus a daily newspaper, and another one or two weekly, and a couple weekly "shoppers", and a monthly club newsletter. I don't know where I ever found the time! For me, I think the time went into just what I'm doing this very second: browsing the web, reading forums, etc. There came a point when magazines & newspapers were waiting in vain, in tall stacks, and I stopped renewing. These days I'm down to Hemmings Classic Car, Consumer Reports (I really don't like it anymore but a well-meaning relative gifts me the subscription each Christmas) and a newsletter. 

 

Our rural county has a free monthly periodical that publishes things like marriage licenses & property transfers & various community minded articles, all supported by ads. A shoestring budget. Even it is online now, and this past year there have been warnings that they may have to eliminate the physical copies simply because they're having trouble finding someone to print it. 

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Bryan G I completely understand. I use to get 110+ magazines a month for work plus a few for pleasure. Publisher’s would ask me if I read their editorial page and what I thought!  My standard answer was “ I get 110 magazines I need to use to check our labels and the mailing system. Why would I want to read about ADVANCES in WOUND CARE or plumbing problems?  I also get 4 or 5 industry mags I should read and I get 2 or 3 I want to read for my own interest.”  They would look disappointed. 
Now that C19 has destroyed that business I get Classic Car (not as good as it once was) one other AND the AACA -Antique Automobile of course. That is usually read cover to cover and enjoyed. 
I hope Motor Magazine fairs better than the oldest automotive magazine in existence is doing- Automotive Industry, it was 90,000 monthly, dropped to 10k then went quarterly, then down to 2000 quarterly and is currently at 1400 semi annually. I’ve done the circulation work for them for over 25 years and watched them go from 50 employees down to three. Magazines today are just in a very cost increasing, responds  decreasing industry. 
dave s 

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On 12/17/2020 at 12:59 AM, 1937hd45 said:

I always bought off the stand, because I didn't want the magazine damaged in the mail.

I am the same way. I also prefer purchasing undamaged, previously un-thumbed through copies of magazines.  The bad about this Covid thing with some magazines not being shipped through their regular distribution channels, is that I have had purchase some online, requiring them being sent through the mail.  And indeed, a few of them have arrived like they've been through hell and back to get here.

 

Craig  

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On 12/17/2020 at 9:01 PM, Bryan G said:

I feel a certain simple satisfaction from holding that printed magazine in my hands. I very much want them to remain, yet...

 

For many years I was paying for subscriptions to 7-8 monthly magazines, plus getting several more "trades" for free, plus a daily newspaper, and another one or two weekly, and a couple weekly "shoppers", and a monthly club newsletter. I don't know where I ever found the time! For me, I think the time went into just what I'm doing this very second: browsing the web, reading forums, etc.

The reason I have the time is because I don't have a TV!  

 

All the major networks have websites, right down to a local level, and if I want to see something that was on TV in any given area, it will most likely be archived and I can view it at my leisure here on my computer. 

 

Craig

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