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Bad year for magazines.

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by ian field, Feb 2, 2007.

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  1. ian field

    ian field Guest

    At the beginning of the year I discovered that Technology-at-Home was
    suspending publication, at which point I enquired about the likelihood of
    payment for fault reports I'd submitted, I was assured that these payments
    had been budgeted for and told to send an invoice. A month has passed with
    no reply so I emailed again - also with no reply, so I did a bit of googling
    to see if I could find any info on what's going on.

    Among the hits was a forum on which it transpires that Television Magazine
    has also gone tits-up!

    So far the messages coming out of Technology-at-Home suggest a modicum of
    optimism that they may yet return to the market place the Television link
    redirects to Saint John Patrick Publishers "site under construction" - I
    wondered if anyone out there had any further news on either publication?
     
  2. I suspect that most speciality magazines like this will appear at most in
    online form. It cuts out all of the printing, fulfillment and mailing costs,
    and advertisers have direct links from potential customers to their own
    websites rather than mailing catalogs. Hard to argue with those reasons.
     
  3. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Hi Ian

    I spoke to John R on the phone last week, and he had been told by one of the
    contributors that stayed on with TeleMag after we left, that it was
    definitely finished for good. My copy was always got in for me by my
    newsagent, so I didn't have a subscription, but apparently, Nexus have
    written to all the subscribers to tell them that publication had ceased. As
    far as T @ H goes, I also had an invoice in for fault reports and an ongoing
    article series that I was doing for them, but as soon as I found out the
    level of financial problem that the owners were suffering, I cancelled it. I
    am still in touch with them, but I don't know yet if there is any definite
    intention to continue publishing by whatever method, in the future. I know
    that Steve has not personally ruled it out, but I don't know how it will
    stand with the other two. I have told them that if they do get it going
    again, I will continue to contribute for free for as long as it takes. The
    way I look at it, with the sad decline of TeleMag after the editing team
    were changed, and now its demise, I'd rather contribute my time for free, if
    it gets a valid publication for the trade, going again. What is your take on
    this ?

    Arfa
     
  4. ian field

    ian field Guest

    There are certain times of day that I like to get away from the PC and read
    articles printed on paper so I miss T_at_H and will miss TeleMag - even what
    it became under Nexus!

    For this reason web based publishing wouldn't appeal to me unless its very
    low priced, after all most of the likely content can be found on the net
    anyway - even if it is a little hard work running searches to find it.

    As T_at_H is partly made up of the team I dealt with when I used to be a
    regular contributor at TeleMag, I would like to see them return from
    publication suspended, although I feel that they tried to cater too much for
    the technically minded man in the street and less so for the "down to the
    metal" service engineer. Under the Nexus flag TeleMag was severely weakened
    and T_at_H might have done better to have taken them head on!

    The link re-direct from TeleMag to SJPP seems to hint they've already been
    sold and may re appear in due course - hopefully better than it was under
    Nexus.
     
  5. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Actually, the T @ H editorial team, was only anything to do with the
    original team of John and Tessa, for a very brief period, before they
    decided that it was not for them, due to a conflict of personalities with
    one of the owners.

    Originally, when the editing of TeleMag was brought in-house, John and Tessa
    were summoned to the offices ( they were both freelancers ) and just told
    that their services would no longer be required. No notice period, no sorry.
    Their contracts were just terminated. Both of them were actually very upset
    about the way that they were treated, and that was a lot to do with why
    Steve, Michael and Elaine got together to start T @ H. They felt that John
    and Tessa still had a valuable contribution to make to a trade magazine.
    They were thus hired to edit the new mag, but unfortunately, the owners'
    ideas for it didn't really match with John and Tessa's editing style, so
    there came a parting of the ways. That left the owners with the whole task
    of both running and editing the magazine, as well as dealing with the
    contributors. This on top of their normal work.

    This is the main reason that it went to bi-monthly publication, which I
    think was perhaps a contributory factor in its current status. I also found
    that having Elaine as a " commissioning editor " made it difficult to write
    for them. With John and Tessa, they always accepted everything I wrote ' as
    was ' and tended to fit it in to the magazine without making many if any
    changes to the running length. I'm pretty sure that you probably used to
    find the same thing, as your monitor fault reports, which I always enjoyed
    reading, used to be relatively long and detailed. When I was contributing
    fault reports, I only used to bother sending in the interesting ones, and
    used to make a point of detailing the diagnostic methods that I had used to
    arrive at the cause of the problem. I could never see the point in the "
    This one wouldn't play discs, so I replaced the laser ... " variety of
    report.

    However. my descriptive style of writing didn't work well with Elaine, and
    she was forever trying to cut down the length and content, which in turn,
    didn't sit well with me, so I finished up dealing exclusively with Steve,
    who was the technical editor.

    At the end of the day, I think that they had to appeal to too wide an
    audience to make it financially viable. This led to the mag having a bit of
    an identity crisis I think. I continued to write my stuff as technical
    articles, aimed at service engineers, but whilst 'on the street'
    technophiles might have found the content of them interesting, I fear that
    the detail would have gone over their heads. The final nail in the coffin of
    T @ H in its paper form, was the distribution costs via W.H.Smith wholesale,
    and for this reason, I can't see it ever re-surfacing as a mag in print.
    Like you, I also like to read 'proper' paper journals, but I don't think
    that we are ever going to do that again for a trade mag serving our business
    ....

    Still, hats off to the T @ H team, and I am very sorry that in the end, they
    didn't get to fully realise their dream, and ended up personally so far out
    of pocket on the venture. It took a lot of guts to have a go, and it was a
    shame that it came to an end just as I felt it was beginning to find its
    place in the market.

    Arfa
     
  6. ian field

    ian field Guest

    It did occur to me that something was wrong there - the absence of J & T
    should have been a clue.
    So T at H might still be going if they'd made more of an effort to get along
    with J & T?!
    While I was googling to try and find info on what was going on I stumbled on
    a forum devoted to the impending demise of Television, T at H got quite a
    few mentions and wherever EE,s name got mentioned it was in a negative
    context, it was mentioned that she had made one or two insulting comments in
    her regular column - I think the words were: "I think she needs to work on
    her people skills"! Your point about editing is well taken, my only 3 fault
    reports before publication ceased no longer said the same thing that I
    originally wrote!
    She didn't cut down her own contribution though! The few times I bothered
    reading her column it contributed (along with other aspects of the magazines
    presentation) a feeling of "where's the recies & knitting patterns?! It was
    I think, one of the owners who took part in the forum I found who commented
    that in one branch of WHS he found T at H amongst the knitting pattern
    magazines - an easy mistake to make!
    There were a couple of projects I wanted to send in for component testing
    gadgets, but they involved running equipment made from salvaged monitor
    components directly from the mains, these would have been no problem for
    experienced service engineers that were targeted by Television Magazine but
    would have been courting certain disaster if presented to the casual
    interest audience T at H seemed to be aiming for!
    The fact that I took out a subscription at the outset was largely out of a
    sense of loyalty to J & T, now they've gone the magazine would have to be
    pretty damn good to keep me paying for it, I wonder if I echo the sentiments
    of other readers? There's no doubt about the dire state of the servicing
    trade, I've not been actively involved in monitor repair for a while now.
    All said and done the state of the industry is the biggest single factor in
    what happened to both magazines, but I have a suspicion that if T at H had
    retained J & T's editorial style they may have fared much better - possibly
    even prevailed.

    There are rumours that Television Magazine has already been bought, and
    appears to be in the same stable as Electronics World, my newsagent tells me
    that he gets notification from the distributor if a magazine ceases
    publication, so he may be able to give me more info after he's contacted
    them on Monday.
     
  7. All

    Let us hope that all the readers and contributors of both
    publications (TeleMag and [email protected]) can come together and support
    any such replacement TeleMag which might arise from the ashes.

    I was a TeleMag subscriber and was told that the last
    publication dated January 2007 was distributed in December,
    and that a refund cheque would be issued for the remainder
    of my subscription.

    There is still a need for a printed magazine which includes
    detailed articles as well as interesting fault reports.
    It's bound to be hard when a new DVD player costs just £9.99
    from Richer Sounds, and LCD/Plasma repairs are often beyond
    the facilities of smaller service agents. But that's no
    excuse for the way TeleMag was put together sometimes over
    the last couple of years.

    Colin
     
  8. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I think that they were only directly involved for the first two issues,
    before there was a problem with one of the owners that J & T perceived as
    editorial interference. Sort of - either they had been hired for their
    editing expertise, or not ...

    This is my feeling, but from talking to both sides, I think that J & T felt
    that they could continue to assemble the mag along the lines of TeleMag,
    particularly as almost all of the potential contributors were those of us
    already well known to them, but one of the owners, who had some experience
    of the magazine world, felt that the owners themselves needed to be fully in
    charge of content and presentation, to protect their financial investment. I
    can kind of see where they might feel that, but by the same token, I think
    that up until that point, TeleMag had been the single best edited and
    presented electronics trade mag on the market, and I think that was entirely
    due to the stewardship of John and Tessa. Incidentally, you may be
    interested to know that the reason the decline set in for TeleMag as a
    commercially viable publication, was that it had not had an advertising
    manager assigned to it for 2 years ...

    Yes indeedy. I got off on the wrong foot with her, and she actually rang me
    up at home. It was to do with the series on valve amps that I had in hand.
    This was originally intended to be a follow on to the original article on
    getting PA amp repair work that I did for TeleMag. John had already accepted
    it in principle, in readiness for publication, and we had all agreed that it
    should now go over into the new mag, but EE had other ideas, and decided
    that no long-running series were going to go in, as the punters would get
    bored with them. She sent me quite a pointed e-mail about it, and suggested
    that I produced a pitch to put to her, which she would then review, and
    decide how many words that I had to write if she deemed it of sufficient
    interest. I told her that I was not one of the professional writers that she
    was used to working with, and that I could not work under those sorts of
    constraints. I told her that the first couple of parts were already written,
    and said just what I wanted them to, so if that was not good enough then we
    just wouldn't bother. John was really upset with this, and I think that the
    episode only sought to underline the bad feelings that J & T were already
    beginning to have. It was after that that I just dealt with Steve. He just
    went ahead and told me to carry on submitting in the normal way, and he
    would edit them. I still finished up having to rewrite major tracts to
    satisfy their requirements, and as you say, it no longer really quite said
    what I had intended. As it turned out, we never got as far as part 3 going
    to print, although they still have it, so you never know, one day it might
    see the light of day again ... The fault reports section changed
    considerably when EE's old boy took over the handling of them, and some of
    mine that I had submitted, were severely edited, to the point where I felt
    that it was pointless to publish them.

    Oddly enough, you are right on the money there, as I understand that she is
    or was directly involved professionally, with a knitting or sewing magazine.
    I too found her articles a little incongruous in an electronics mag, to put
    it politely. Also, as she was setting herself up as an editor, on occasion,
    her grammar left a little to be desired ...

    Agreed. I think that given time, the original reader base would have all
    migrated across to
    T @ H, and probably the advertisers as well, but I guess that it was such a
    financial burden and gamble, time wasn't on their side. The trade is dire at
    times, for sure, but it's treated me pretty well over the years, and
    continues to do so. These days, I do only trade audio work, and am probably
    the only person in my area doing it, so tend to get the work from all of the
    independant shops that still take such items in. Along with some commercial
    vending machine boards that I do in large quantities, there is enough work
    to keep me and my son going, and to pay for a couple of stateside holidays a
    year. I don't know how much longer that will keep up for, but it's not
    showing any signs of letting up at the moment.
    That's interesting to hear. I understand that the title has been bought and
    'parked', but I am not sure whether that is with any serious intention of
    resuming publication, or a " just in case " scenario. I would like to know
    what you find out on this score. Mail me direct off-group if you like, as
    this thread is starting to get a bit long, and probably wandering a bit OT
    now.

    Arfa
     
  9. ian field

    ian field Guest

    Nexus sent me a reply email confirming Television Magazine has ceased
    publication, they made it clear that the title has not been taken over - so
    that's the end of that then!
     
  10. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Oh well ...

    Arfa
     
  11. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    I received an email from a regular contributor to Television back in
    November 2005 saying that new management had taken over and sackings
    of long time staff had occurred. As a result, all regular contributors
    to the mag were no longer contributing. Perhaps this was the
    pre-cursor to it going Tits-up.

    I was also informed that a new magazine would be starting up with all
    the old Television contributors moving over. So far I haven't heard
    whether this eventuated or not.
     
  12. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest


    After having read the remaining posts from Arfa I can see that the new
    mag did take off but it apparently never made it to Australia. It now
    seems that this mag has gone Tits-up along with Television.
     
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