Popular Communications to end print publication

WR FEB2012. Cover.qxdAs of February 2013, the magazine Popular Communications will become a digital supplement to CQ Amateur Radio magazine.

Pop Comm“–together with its sister publications CQ VHF and WorldRadio–will now be digital only.

Check out this ARRL News article for details.

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26 Responses to Popular Communications to end print publication

  1. John Cooper says:

    Another one taken away. It seems like every other month a shortwave publication goes away or is consolidated. Wonder what is next? Too bad the prices of SWL equipment hasn’t gone down.

  2. Troy says:

    I was a new subscriber to Popular Communications beginning in January 2013. To say it was a huge disappointment all year is an understatement. Though the magazine was enjoyable, the customer service & delivery problems were not. They apparently had multiple “issues with their printer”. Every issue arrived late to my doorstep, so much so that approximately three times during 2013 the month on the magazine was 2-months behind the actual month on the calendar. Every other month it was one month behind the calendar. As a new subscriber I was never able to develop a sense of normalcy re: timing (when to expect delivery) because it was always different. In September I renewed for 2014 after communicating with their office via email and being told they had changed printers and delinquencies was a problem of the past. I also wanted to support the publication given the recent demise of MT. October 2013 was the last issue I rcvd. Despite having a paid subscription through the end of 2014, I never rcvd the balance of my 2013 subscription as neither my November nor December issues were ever delivered. As of 12/27 I haven’t seen the January ’14 issue (given their track record of ’13, receiving January’s issue in early-March would be about what I experienced). Emails to their circulation department have gone unanswered. I tried faxing a letter but their fax rings and then goes “busy” and won’t receive a transmission. So when the news hit 24 Dec that PopComm Magazine will no longer be published I had no choice but to contact my credit card company to contest the September renewal I put on my charge card. At this point they can keep their undelivered issues for Nov & Dec – I just want them to reverse the 2014 renewal I paid in Sept. In the meantime I’m a charter subscriber to The Spectrum Monitor. I’ll give Ken and the former staff of MT my business as they launch their new e-Magazine. Pop Comm & CQ Communications has lost my trust after a year of poor service and a failure to “Communicate”. How ironic.

  3. Michael Black says:

    It’s interesting how the company has ebbed and flowed.

    It was a single magazine company for a long time, just CQ. I’m not sure
    when the CB magazine S9 came along, but it disappeared at some point.
    They had “Modern Electroncis” in 1977 for a year or two, a mix of consumer
    electronics and low level projects. Then they resurrected it bout 1984, though
    it morphed a few times and became a computer magazine, before being sold and
    then disappearing.

    I’m not sure when Popular Communications started, but of course it helped
    to fill the vacuum when the hobby electronic magazines folded or at least moved
    away from radio. IN their prime, they’d all cover SWLing and CB and amateur radio,
    columns every month and some construction projects. Circa 1971, there was even
    Communication World, a quarterly from I think the company that put out Elementary
    Electronics. It had WHite’s Radio Log in the back, and would focus on one aspect
    of listening each issue (scanning, broadcast band dxing, utilities and so on) and
    always had space for something about the receivers. I’m not sure when that
    disappeared.

    CQ-VHS came and went and returned. It started when the licensing changed,
    bringing in a different crowd of hams, then shutdown for economic reasons, then
    suddely it was back. And now it’s gone.

    The real issue here is that SWLing isn’t there on the newsstand. It’s way easier
    to find information about the hobby than forty years ago, but, do people wonder
    “is there anything formal about listening to distant radio stations?”. I doubt it, I think
    people may dabble in it and then come across something, or read something and
    start doing it. In the old days, it was easy, there were the hobby electronic magazines,
    and in more recent times PopComm and Monitoring Times. But what leads someone
    to the hobby now? I suspect many libraries don’t even have books on the subject.

    Michael

  4. lynn kelly says:

    looks like dick ross is going to stiff a lot of subscribers who recently remewed

  5. Mike says:

    Unfortunately, what we see here is the trend in all of magazine publishing. Have you seen a recent copy of Time? I’m sure that Dick Ross would strongly prefer to keep all of these publications afloat but that option is just not financially feasible. To be fair to subscribers, they should be offered an easy refund on their subscription if they don’t care for this arrangement. I was a subscriber to all of these publications, so I guess I’ll be receiving CQ for a long time before I need to renew!

  6. lynn kelly says:

    ANYONE SUBSCRIBER OR NOT CAN GET A FREE COPY OF THE NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER POPULAR COMMUNICATIONS TO DOWNLOAD ON PDF AT THE POPULAR COMMUNICATIONS SITE. THOSE APPEAR TO BE THE FINAL PRINTED ISSUES ACCORDING TO THE SITE IT APPEARS MONEY IS THE REASON FOR THE END OF ALL PRINTED PUBLICATIONS EXCEPT CQ AND DONT BET THE FARM ON THAT ONE REMAINING IN PRINT IF IT REMAINS IN EXISTENCE AT ALL

  7. lynn kelly says:

    NOT ALL SUBSCRIBERS APPEAR TO HAVE RECEIVED THE FINAL TWO PRINTED ISSUES OF POPULAR COMMUNICATIONS. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD THAT THE NOV. AND DEC. 2013 ISSUES ARE AVAILIBLE TO EVERYONE FOR DOWNLOAD AS A FREE PDF FILE. YOU DONT HAVE TO BE A SUBSCRIBER. TIMES ARE VERY HARD FOR ALL PRINTED PUBLICATIONS BUT NONE MORE SO THAN PRINTED RADIO HOBBY MAGAZINES WHICH APPEAR LIKE SW STATIONS UTILITY AND BROADCAST TO BE HISTORY. EVEN MORE REASON TO VISIT AND SUPPORT BLOGS LIKE THIS ONE

    • Thomas says:

      Lynn, many thanks for this! I have published a post with this information. You’re right–many never received these two issues by mail.

      Cheers,
      Thomas

  8. David says:

    Thomas: Nor were we told why, had to hunt down the facts myself. No return responses from email or phone. Must have let the office help go as well as the printers.

    • Thomas says:

      David: Gosh, sorry to hear that. I have received several similar messages from readers. I think things there must be in a state of disorganization.

  9. LYNN KELLY says:

    THE CQ SITE SAID ALL POP. COM. SUBSCRIBERS WOULD BE CONVERTED TO CQ STARTING FEB 2014 WITH THAT ISSUE OF CQ. I HAVE A YEAR TO POP COM PAID UP BUT HAVE RECEIVED NO CQ, NO REFUND AND NO REPLY TO E MAILS AND THE PHONE THERE GOES UNANSWERED. I SUSPECT ITS THE END OF THE LINE FOR CQ WHICH BEGAN IN 1945. POP COM BEGAN BY THE LATE THOMAS K. EXISTED FROM SEPT 1982 UNTIL OCT. 2014. GIVEN ALL THIS I DOUBT ANYONE IS GOING TO RECEIVE CQ NOR A REFUND BECAUSE I THINKS ITS OVER AT CQ EXCEPT FOR BANKRUPTCY COURT

  10. LYNN KELLY says:

    newsflash I JUST HEARD THAT THE ENTIRE STAFF AT CQ HAS BEEN TERMINATED IF TRUE THAT EXPLAINS THE UNANSERED E MAILS AND PHONES AT CQ. I STRONGLY EXPECT THE OFFICIAL BANKRUPTCY WILL BE ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY SOON

  11. LYNN KELLY says:

    I AM DEFINITELY YELLING AND THAT KIND OF NEWS JUSTIFIES IT

  12. Carl says:

    I renewed my subscription to Pop Comm for three years in August and the last print issue that I received was the October 2013 issue. When I called customer service in early January about my missing issues I was told that Pop Comm was no longer being printed and it is now in digital form only.
    I told the customer service rep that I’m not interested in a digital magazine and that I would appreciate a full refund of approximately $80.00 of which she assured me that I would receive. A month later I still haven’t received a refund nor have I been able to contact them regarding this matter.

    • Thomas says:

      Unfortunately, Carl, I’ve been hearing a lot of this. I would call them daily until they issue your refund. The writers and editors at CQ are wonderful folks–their admin is pretty disorganized, though.
      -Thomas

  13. LYNN KELLY says:

    IN REPLY TO CARL I AM IN THE SAME SITUATION BUT ONLY FOR A YEAR. I HAVE NEVER GOTTEN A REPLY TO ANY E MAIL NOR HAS THE PHONE AT CQ EVER BEEN ANSWERED WHEN I CALLED WHICH WAS OFTEN. I RECENTLY HEARD THE ENTIRE CO STAFF HAS BEEN LET GO WHICH WOULD CLEARLY EXPLAIN THE LACK OF ANY RESPONSE TO MY E MAILS AND THE UNANSWERED PHONE AT CQ. NOR HAVE I EVER RECEVED THE PROMISED CQ MAGAZINE NOR ANY DIGITAL MAGAZINES EITHER. SADLY MY SINCE ADVICE TO CARL IS WRITE OFF THE MONEY AND MOVE ON AS I HAVE HAD TO DO. IN BANKRUPTCY COURT CARL AND ME WILL BE AT THE VERY BACK OF A LONG LINE AND NEVER SEE A PENNY

    • Carl says:

      In reply to Thomas and Lynn: I have been trying to contact Pop Comm about my refund for the last 2 weeks via telephone with no success. The phone is not being answered and my voice mail messages are not being returned. I am truly amazed that Pop Comm would treat their subscribers in such an unprofessional manner. As far as receiving my refund, I doubt very much if I will ever receive a penny of that money.

      • LYNN KELLY says:

        CARL I AM SAD TO SAY THAT YOU LIKELY WILL NEVER SEE A REFUND YOU WILL NEVER SEE A COPY OF THE PROMISED CQ MAGAZINE EITHER. I HAD SOME HOPE THAT I WOULD GET EITHER A REFUND OR CQ UNTIL I HEARD THAT THE ENTIRE STAFF AT CQ PUBLISHING HAD BEEN LET GO. THEN THE REASON FOR THE UNANSWERED E MAILS AND PHONE BECAME CRYSTAL CLEAR AND I WROTE OFF THE MONEY AS LOST AND MOVED ON. I THINK CARL AND THE OTHERS IN MY SITUATION WILL COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSION EVENTUALLY AND SIMPLY WRITE OFF THE MONEY AND CQ MAGAZINE AND MOVE ON AS I HAVE HAD TO DO. WITH THE END OF THE MAGAZINES BLOGS LIKE THIS ONE BECOME VITAL AND DESERVE OUR SUPPORT, THEY ARE THE WHOLE SHOW NOW.

  14. LYNN KELLY says:

    I DOUBT THIS WILL REALLY HELP ANYONES FEELINGS MUCH WHO ARE IN THE SAME SITUATION AS CARL AND MYSELF BUT A NEW NAME IS BEING SEEN ON THE VARIOUS BLOGS FOR POP COM THE NEW NAME I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL TIMES IS POOP COM, VERY FITTING IN VIEW OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO PEOPLE LIKE CARL, MYSELF AND OTHERS

  15. LYNN KELLY says:

    I AM FULLY PAID UP FOR A FULL YEAR OF POP; COM AKA POOP COM. I HAVE RECEIVED NO POP. COM. SINCE OCT. 2013 NOR HAVE I RECEIVED THE PROMISED CQ MAGAZINES IN REPLACEMENT. MY MANY E MAILS ARE IGNORED AND THE PHONE IN HICKSVILLE GOES UNANSWERED. I HEARD THAT THE ENTIRE CQ STAFF HAS BEEN LET GO WHICH WOULD EXPLAIN THE IGNORED E MAIL AND UNANSWERED PHONE. WHILE I HAVE LOST ONLY ONE YEAR OF MONEY AND MAGAZINES OTHERS LIKE POOR CARL HAVE LOST A FULL THREE YEARS IT NOW SEEMS CRYSTAL CLEAR. I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM OTHERS LIKE MYSELF AND CARL WHO HAVE LOST MONEY AND MAGAZINES DUE TO THIS SITUATION

  16. David says:

    Thanks, Lynn, Carl and Thomas for saving me time tracking down what I had suspected. Too many people having the same problems to be coincidence. I will write off the 13 months left and chalk it up to experience. I see several others on Facebook holding out hope that the digital editions will be ready soon, so they were told. On another note: the Zinio reader they say you need to read the yet to be sent editions is now in Version 4 and will only work on Windows 8 or a Mac or smartphone. I couldn’t find any links for the earlier versions for Windows 7 or previous versions. So even if they were to get their act together, some, like myself, would have to shell out more money to upgrade just to read it. Seems they could have stayed with a .pdf file and a password and username to download it. Kind of pointless now anyways.

  17. Carl says:

    Our only recourse to try and receive a refund would be to file a complaint with the Consumer Affairs Dept. in Nassau County, New York. Although I’m not really sure they could actually help us.

  18. LYNN KELLY says:

    THIS IS INFO FOR CARL, DAVID AND MANY OTHERS WHO HAVE LOST BOTH MONEY AND MAGAZINES. BY ALL MEANS FILE COMPLAINTS WITH CONSUMER PROTECTION IN NASSAU COUNTY N.Y. AND ALSO FILE WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW YORK STATE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF YOUR STATE, THE POSTAL INSPECTOR, THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU IN HICKSVILLE NY AND THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION. DOING ALL OF THAT IS NOT LIKELY TO GET YOU ANY MAGAZINES OR A REFUND BUT IT MAY STOP THEM FROM STILL TAKING THE MONEY OF HONEST PEOPLE FOR MAGAZINES THAT WILL ALMOST SURELY NEVER EXIST SINCE THEY ARE STILL SEEKING NEW SUBSCRIBERS TO WHAT AMOUNTS TO AN ALREADY DEFUNCT CQ MAGAZINE AND THAT NEEDS TO STOP NOW.

  19. LYNN KELLY says:

    CARL, DAVID, THOMAS AND OTHERS PLEASE BE WARNED. GO TO ANY OF THE HAM RADIO BLOGS AND THEY ARE FULL OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE PAID FOR UP TO THREE YEARS OF CQ AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED IT IN MONTHS. ALSO THEIR E MAILS ARE IGNORED AND THE PHONE AT CQ IS NEVER ANSWERED YET CQ IS STILL ONLINE SEEKING NEW SUBSCRIBERS TO A MAGAZINE THAT NO LONGER REALLY EXIST. WHATEVER CQ ONCE WAS SINCE BEING FOUNDED IN 1945 IT APPEARS TO HAVE DEGENERATED INTO NOTHING MORE THAN A SCAM AT PRESENT. THAT SCAM NEEDS TO BE SHUT DOWN SO OTHERS DONT LOSE THEIR MONEY. PLEASE MAKE OTHERS AWARE AND HELP SHUT DOWN THIS SCAM. AS A VERY WISE ROMAN CITIZEN PUT IT CAVEAT EMPTOR, AS TRUE NOW AS IT WAS THEN.

  20. Pingback: Some answers from CQ Mag & free download of January/February issues | The SWLing Post

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