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 Post subject: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:37 pm
Posts: 216
The print editions of many of Carstens popular railroad magazines have disappeared from our local newsstands over the past few months, such as Railfan/Railroad and RMC--have they gone all digital or is something more serious going on with the publisher? Things have been strangely silent and I've not read anything elsewhere on the web. Does anybody know the latest?


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I've been told by a hobby shop owner that Carstens is changing to a different contract printer, and apparently has been having troubles in the transition. How accurate that is might be open to question, but that's what I have.


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
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Location: Southern California
Thread over on the NGDF a couple of weeks ago. But no one had any information.

I suspect that something is going on -- or rather not going on at Crastens or maybe its printer. The website list the July issues of RMC and R&R with nothing later than that. But if you look at the R&R electronic news column it was last updated on the 16th.

The June RMC issue showed up at The Original Whistle Stop in Pasadena about a couple/three weeks ago. As of this past Friday the June R&R was not seen. I could have, but did not, ask the owner of the shop.

RMC has a Facebook account and it has some product reviews/accoutrements posted as recent as last week. There are some reader comments under the heading "reviews". Here are a couple of some interest (but why didn't the mag post this information directly??)
Quote:
(reader one) I called Carstens to find out from the horses mouth about the late June and July issues. It turns out their printing plant they use upped and moved without notifying their clients which pushed back the delivery schedules for those issues. June has been mailed and July is being printed right now. The lady answering the phone said she has been there for 40 years and they arn't going anywhere. They know the issues were late and are working to get back on schedule. Just be patient. Dave
August 14 at 10:03am · 1
(reader two) Contact Lynn at RMC. She helped provide the best info on the situation. It looks like the delays will continue through December BUT the Digital issues can be gotten sooner. If you get the Digital issue, it will NOT work on an Android device. Adobe has stopped supporting Flash on mobile devices. I wish RMC would make it a PDF file. Adobe Reader is supported on tablets and wireless phones.
Yesterday at 11:07am

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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:38 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8355
Location: Baltimore, MD
There is some related upheaval--to the level of massive amounts of animal leftovers hitting the proverbial bladed propellant--all over the periodical distribution industry as I type. Plug "Source Interlink Distribution" into your favorite search engine for what proves to be only part of the story. See also (if your browser will let you read it):

http://online.wsj.com/articles/demise-o ... 1401488370

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mergermarke ... nd-beyond/

I've seen the filings with the bankruptcy court. Kalmbach Publishing was something like #31 in the queue with somewhere around $600K owed to it. This is shaking down to a couple levels below this--I'm told one magazine printer has closed as a result of money shortages related to this, and at least one other, who did print some hobby publications in the past, may be in grave danger now as a result (they had a loss in FY 2013, according to online articles). I spoke with someone at a Barnes & Noble today that confirmed that some distributors/periodicals have missed shipments of late--I found on the shelf there the April 2014 issue of Railway Magazine, distributed by Worldwide Distribution Services last I knew, when I should be seeing a just-arrived August issue.

I was told long ago (say, when Jim Boyd was still around) that Hal Carstens rejected doing business with certain major "players" in the magazine distribution industry, which unfortunately was (is?) rife with shady/seedy characters and business practices, often at the time interlaced with the pornography trade. This is supposedly part of why 1) you never saw Railfan, Railroad Model Craftsman, and other Carstens periodicals in as many places as you would Kalmbach publications, and 2) why Kalmbach mags had roughly twice the circulation/distribution as Carstens.

Based on this fairly widespread turmoil, which most Americans won't see until it hits crisis levels and magazines stop showing up at supermarkets and WalMarts, I'm inclined to believe whatever is being cited above by the principal players. However, you just might want to start looking into those "e-zine" editions.............

EDIT: Quad Graphics, mentioned in this article, is the hobby publisher referenced earlier as losing money:
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/06/18/stcloud-plant
Quad Graphics founder Harry Quadracci, at one point, owned or leased several private passenger cars, including CZ dome Silver Chalet, and cars Silver Express, Silver Lodge and Silver Shore. Quadracci died of an accidental drowning in June 2002.

See also viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5624


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:59 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

All this discission about issues with printers and ezines and so forth is correct and also misses what I consider a major issue - the economy. When the economy is soft or bad, people think about eating and housing - not luxury items such as hobbies.

The Economy has been bad since 2008 and soft/bad since 9/11/2001.

Coupled with the exidus of goods being manufactured moving from the US to Asia, Mexico, Pacific ..., I do not think this trend will reverse anytime soon. This reads good jobs not lawn care or fast food worker types - we need these people also but how can someone who had a $60,000 per year job support himself on a job at McDonalds paying minimum wage?. When your income drops by 2/3rds, you cut the luxuries. I've been there and am still doing it.

Sad but true.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:08 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:58 am
Posts: 728
I picked up the June RMC a couple of weeks ago in Ottawa, Ontario.

This has been discussed on other lists for a long time, particularly CanModelTrains as they have had recurring distribution problems to Canada for several years.

One poster on CanModelTrains talked to the folks at Carstens and was told they were working through a distribution nightmare and were badly behind but working hard to catch up and put more effective arrangements in place.

I sure hope they succeed- I could easily do without MR, but I would miss RMC.

Not quite sure this is preservation related but heck, most of us read these magazines, some of us advertise in or write for them, and many of us are modellers in addition to working with the real thing.

Steve Hunter


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:27 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 521
K.R. Bell wrote:
The print editions of many of Carstens popular railroad magazines have disappeared from our local newsstands over the past few months, such as Railfan/Railroad and RMC--have they gone all digital or is something more serious going on with the publisher? Things have been strangely silent and I've not read anything elsewhere on the web. Does anybody know the latest?


The short answer is no ---and while it's nice to support local stores -- the best and most cost effective way to be sure you get every copy of these magazines is to simply support the publishers and subscribe.

Factors involved, as others have posted, include the decline in the print media (including newspapers!) and the fact chains such as Borders have gone bankrupt creating a multi-faceted decline in magazine sales.

Bob H


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:02 pm 
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I suspect there will be some more precise news on Carstens coming out quite soon.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
The former Borders near here now houses a Whole Foods Market store...from books to food...

Barnes and Noble recently moved out of their own building into the nearby mall...more people traffic I guess... that building is now an excersize outfit.


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:52 pm
Posts: 78
Here is another link to a spirited discussion on this topic:

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 7&t=156959

Under most circumstances, I do not believe that private and non-traded companies really owe the outside world much in the way of an explanation of their day to day operations. However, that is not the case here. These folks are holding people's money and those who are out financially are entitled to an explanation. Carstens has an obligation to their fan base to afford some answers here. A press release or other official statement is extremely necessary. I cannot fathom, as a business leader myself, how you could allow the cyber world to run amok with rumor and conjecture without issuing some sort of official statement. We, as consumers, have a right to hold them accountable. So do the hobby shops and other business partners that rely on them for quality product and service.


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 459
PCook wrote:
I suspect there will be some more precise news on Carstens coming out quite soon.


Another source claims that Carstens is "closing down" this Friday.

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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 459
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
I've seen the filings with the bankruptcy court. Kalmbach Publishing was something like #31 in the queue with somewhere around $600K owed to it.

The counsel for the Debtors have posted the bankruptcy filings on their website: Source Home Entertainment, LLC, et al. Case Number: 14-11553 According to the website, there are eight debtors:
Quote:
Source Home Entertainment, LLC, et al. Debtor List

Directtou, Inc. 14-11554
RDS Logistics, LLC 14-11555
Retail Vision, LLC 14-11556
Source Home Entertainment, LLC 14-11553
Source Interlink Distribution, LLC 14-11557
Source Interlink International, Inc. 14-11558
Source Interlink Manufacturing, LLC 14-11559
Source Interlink Retail Services, LLC 14-11560


I wasn't able to find either Carstens or Kalmbach listed on the Claims register, but that may be because they have not submitted claims yet and/or the website is not up-to-date. (The website's disclaimer says that it "does not guarantee or warrant that the data provided herein is accurate, complete, or current".

There are several other publishers listed on the Claims register, including I-5 Publishing, LLC (publisher of Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, Cigar & Spirits, Auto Restorer, etc) which has a $469,204.08 claim. Washingtontonian Media has a $415,297.11 claim -- I wonder how they'll survive that since they are, AFAIK, just a single, regional magazine.

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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 1:52 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Newton, NJ
To answer the question at the top of this discussion --

Yes. June R&R (a bit later than anyone would like) will be hitting mailboxes and hobby shops in a week or so.

Steve Barry
Editor
Railfan & Railroad

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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8355
Location: Baltimore, MD
Quote:
Washingtontonian Media has a $415,297.11 claim -- I wonder how they'll survive that since they are, AFAIK, just a single, regional magazine.


Washingtonian is a magazine, a publishing house, and a self-described "media company" in a city that is essentially recession-proof thanks to its main industry, with a rather generous median subscriber income level and, like most such "city style" magazines, an exaggerated sense of image and importance, and an advertising base to match. See also http://www.washingtonian.com/wcm/about- ... tom-media/

Knowing something of the magazine and its market, I would cynically suggest that "surviving" for them means downscaling the quality of champagne and caviar served at its next "Best Of D.C." party (which, of course, really means "Best of Washingtonian's Advertisers")......


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 Post subject: Re: Carstens Publications--Any More Printed Editions?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:48 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Based on this fairly widespread turmoil, which most Americans won't see until it hits crisis levels and magazines stop showing up at supermarkets and WalMarts, I'm inclined to believe whatever is being cited above by the principal players. However, you just might want to start looking into those "e-zine" editions.............

EDIT: Quad Graphics, mentioned in this article, is the hobby publisher referenced earlier as losing money:
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/06/18/stcloud-plant
Quad Graphics founder Harry Quadracci, at one point, owned or leased several private passenger cars, including CZ dome Silver Chalet, and cars Silver Express, Silver Lodge and Silver Shore. Quadracci died of an accidental drowning in June 2002.

See also viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5624



I think the crisis may be here now. I was just in a Wal Mart the other day, first time I'd been in one in a while (I don't like the chain and try to stay away), and there were some serious holes in the magazine section. Same thing at a nearby Books-A-Million recently, though that has changed there.


Quad Graphics has a very large plant in my area at Martinsburg, W.Va. served by CSX. It's off the main line, in an industrial park built on the bones of the old Cumbo Yard (later interchange yard between the Cumberland Valley Railroad--PRR after 1922--and the Baltimore & Ohio).


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