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“It is my intention to suspend the publication of the Radio Magazine until it is ready for re-launch”, says Kelly Mitchell, the Sales Manager, in a letter to subscribers with last week’s issue.
“It is time to give your publication a new look”, she says, promising “more news, information, and radio focussed material alongside a well designed website which offers readers and advertisers something more interactive”.
Is this another industry-specific magazine which has out-stayed its welcome? Is there a place for print news any more for a vertical business like radio?
I tend to get my news from Radio Today which is a bit quicker than waiting a week for a magazine to get written, designed (I use that term loosely), printed and distributed :-)
As the Editor, I’d hope you do. Although more seriously, I think there is a place for an industry-specific printed magazine for the radio industry. Just not one dealing with news.
(Disclosure: I wrote the fortnightly ‘Programming Points’ column from 2003-2010 and was an occasional contributor to The Radio Magazine before then – including its previous guise of ‘Now Radio’)
As far as radio industry news is concerned I have to agree with Stuart that the news is more-readily obtainable online these days – the same goes for job ads etc.
If there is a place for a printed magazine it’s more likely to find its niche with comment, analysis and coverage of in-depth issues- such as Radio Ink in the States. Is there a market in that niche, though, and would there be sufficient subscribers to such a publication for it to be a viable proposition? Similarly as there are so many existing outlets for comment and analysis through personal blogs etc. already in existence would such a publication end up being little more than a paid-for (and/or advertiser-supported) paper version of content that is available free elsewhere?
Its not overstayed its welcome, its just not moved with the times..Howard Rose may have ‘brought up his baby’ in a different way. Similarly (maybe) lets see where Apple are in 10 years.
Seeing as Stuart has mentioned Radio Today (nice on Stu, ha ha!) can I also mention that the Blue Revolution ‘Radio e-Zine’ is a free resource to the industry. Each month it is delivered as a pdf document via email and contains insight and advice from some of radio’s top strategists. Did I mention it’s free? :) www.bluerevolution.com/ezine has the details.
The Radio Magazine faced three key problems: firstly, that it wasn’t offering anything (with the exception of the reflective commentaries) that you couldn’t already get online for free; secondly, Kelly Mitchell is quite right in her assessment of the need for a new look – the publication has always had a slightly amateur, ‘we’ve created the page layout in Microsoft Publisher’ feel about it that I didn’t find particularly charming; and thirdly, standards had slipped – every time I’ve picked an edition of TRM the last couple of years, it’s been littered with spelling mistakes (several per issue), and in an age of spellcheck, that just gives off a bad impression. I used to flick through when jobs were advertised there that didn’t make the online ‘wanted’ sections, but when they dried up, there was little incentive to read it. Will it actually come back? Perhaps – but does anyone really miss XTrax, for example?
It would appear Radio Today has plans to produce a printed monthly magazine – focussing on features rather than news – next year: http://radiotoday.co.uk/2011/11/radio-today-launches-features-magazine/.
2,000 copies circulated free and the content also available to read or download on Radio Today’s website.
The sample copy produced for the Radio Festival can be found here – http://radiotoday.co.uk/magazine/
This is not the first time that this has happened to the radio Magazine.
What happens to those who have subscribed to the Radio Magazine? Will there be a re-fund?