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Popular and Modern Photography Magazines

Bill Mitchell , May 23, 2007; 09:09 a.m.

Does anyone know the real story of why they were merged, as they both had good circulations. IMO the result was poorer than either had been.


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Frank Skomial , May 23, 2007; 09:41 a.m.

Popular Photography and Outdoor Photography suferred financial losses by conducting multiple unnecessary mailings that request renewals and payment, even if the subscription was paid for a year ahead of request time.

Also they maintained multiple accounts for the same person, while sending only one copy for the given address, and sending notifications to subscribers for not paying for the duplicate account, and even directing the matter to a collection agency.

They had such an accounting mess, that turned off many people. Were unable to correct the accounting errors by multiple phone calls, emails, or multiple writings.

There were other problems as well, e.g placing inexperience people in "director" position to manage relatively complex operations, that are manageable relatively simple to other publishers.

Looks like recently they improved a bit.

Vincenzo Maielli , May 23, 2007; 09:57 a.m.

In the last '80, Popular Photography purchased Modern Photography to close a fairful competing. I think that Modern Photography was one of the better photography magazin over the world and the classic Popular Photography too, although not properly at the same quality level. Now, i find that Popular Photograhy is very poor as the contents and the lens and camera tests are very shortage. I prefer clearly the Shutterbug Magazine. Ciao.

Ellis Vener , May 23, 2007; 10:22 a.m.

"Does anyone know the real story of why they were merged, as they both had good circulations."

Money, honey.

Wayne Cornell , May 23, 2007; 10:41 a.m.

I'm sure the photo magazines are facing the same problem as most other magazines and daily newspaper. It's all tied to ****right here*****. People are getting their info on line and don't have to wait a month or week or day for it to arrive.

Ken Jeanette , May 23, 2007; 11:09 a.m.

Funny the first statement should be about the premailing issue. They still do it. Maybe now they have a better system in place to track it, but they do it nonetheless. I purchased a 1year subscription, and before I had received the second issue, there was an advert to get another year. i believe I had my third enticement before the fourth month, but i didn't send that because who knows the world might end and i wouldn't get my full value. I'd be willing to bet that if I kept it up, i could have amassed 12 or 15 years of subscription before the first year was up. Same thing they did in the 70s. As the commedian says, "You can't fix stupid"

Walter Degroot , May 23, 2007; 12:18 p.m.

i was a Popular photgraphy subscriber in the 1965's and it tended to be more "arty" than equipment and hardware oriented. I was a teen and should not have been getting a magazine full of nudes. By the way someone paid me to cut out all the nude phots so he could have them. I was much more a photo tech.

Later, around 1960 i found pop to be a "silly airhead" as they glossed over serious terchnical problems. Modern was accused of both payola and dwelling on technical issues more than picture taking.

One thing was poorly handle\d: the specials , the alminacs and test report special isuses required a real effort to get. they appeared on the newstands in limited numbers and , apparently were not always offered by mail from Modern.

Pop said if a camera revioew apperared thet meant the product was OK. their reeviews at that time were pretty superficial. Modern did in-depth reviews, even dis-assembling cameras and writing a virtual instructionb manual. ( this is why some said they were too hardwaere oriented) both ot all magazines got too GIDDY with their headlines. and puffed up what they would say. example "when will color negative film fail you"

I think some of their re-writers came from supermarket checkout couter tabloids.

depite all the claims and couter claims, I really miss modern photography magazine, I will read POP PHOTO if i get a free copy but will not subscribe.

Walter Degroot , May 23, 2007; 02:18 p.m.

Correction i was a Popular photgraphy subscriber in the 1950's and i

in 1965 i subscribed or bought all 4 camera magazines.

richard oleson , May 23, 2007; 07:20 p.m.

As a hardware oriented person, unquestionably MP was superior. But PP had a larger circulation, and they figured they could make more money if they had ALL the circulation and no competition. PP was quite good in the 50s and 60s but seemed to just repeat the same "how to push the button" articles over and over and over again later on.....

Jeff Spirer , May 23, 2007; 07:38 p.m.

Popular Photography and Outdoor Photography suferred financial losses by conducting multiple unnecessary mailings that request renewals and payment, even if the subscription was paid for a year ahead of request time...

Magazines outsource subscription fulfillment. It's been that way for many, many years. The fulfillment house gets paid on retention and new subscriptions. The magazine does not bear the cost of all those mailings, so this has nothing to do with financial issues. Also, Popular Photography has been part of large publishing firms for years.

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