TWO ISSUES BACK, we wrote about the covid-19 crisis and the impact it is having on people’s lives, their lifestyles, and their livelihoods.
This issue, we’re here to report on the impact it has had on us—and you, our subscribers and regular readers.
As you can see by the issue date label at the bottom of this page (the “folio” in publish-ese), this is a combined issue. Faced with unprecedented economic fallout that has touched virtually every business sector across the globe (except, perhaps, those occupied by Home Depot, H.E.B. and Whataburger), we have been forced to make a change in our publishing frequency.
Covid-19 has taken a deadly toll, and continues to do so. As of this writing, while Texas and other states move ahead with “to-hell-with-it-let’s-re-open-everything” efforts relaxing the drastic measures that shut down the world’s economies, the disease keeps coming at us.
As of right now, (June 15) less than 1% of the U.S. population (2 million out of 340 million) is known to have been infected by this disease that no one was immune to and which spreads with scary efficiency. Pandemics have shown a predictable pattern over history. They strike, subside, then strike again, usually with harsher impact. While the first and hardest hit regions of America have made substantial recoveries from Covid-19, other regions are just seeing their case numbers begin to peak. And this is still the so-called “first wave.” This fall, as we all collectively succumb to quarantine fatigue, and schools and universities re-open, and maybe sporting events and other mass gatherings resume, and the weather returns to virus-friendly conditions, a second deadly wave may engulf us.
The bottom line is, this crisis is not over and on one knows what to expect next. So we have to be prepared. Hope for the best, plan for the… you know.
Since this thing’s second deadliest threat is the damage it inflicts economically, we need to do everything we can do to protect the core assets of our business.
It is no secret that advertising is the main source of funding for print magazines. Without it, an annual subscription would have to cost a couple hundred dollars. When the stark economic reality of this pandemic hit, a number of our regular advertisers had to immediately tighten their own belts. Companies that rely on products manufactured in Asia—and sadly, that describes a giant portion of the fishing industry—were faced not only with empty store aisles, but in many cases the inability to put products on store shelves. So they stopped advertising.
In response to the current economic reality, we are combining July and August. We may also need to combine September with October, and November with December. Readers who have been with us for a while may remember that TEXAS FISH & GAME originally published only 10 issues a year. TEXAS FISHERMAN, the magazine we merged with in the early 1990s, published nine issues a year.
So, what does that mean for you, if you have a one-, two- or three-year subscription?
The short answer is: nothing, really. Your subscriptions are based on the number of issues, not the amount of time. Even though we express these in annual terms, they are still based on 12, 24 or 36 issues. So, if you have a one-year subscription, you’ll still get 12 issues in total. Our system doesn’t read calendars—it counts issues. There will just be longer gaps between some issues.
Meanwhile, as we’ve tried to stress often in this column, we will still be gathering and delivering stories and information on our digital platforms. If you haven’t signed up for it, subscribe to our thrice-weekly e-Newsletter. Go to our website, Fishgame.com and use the Newsletter link in the middle of the top menu to sign up. We’ll be increasing the number of articles and sprucing up the format to pack it with even more useful, interesting and enjoyable content. Chester is also ramping up his new podcast, available on the website as well.
Hopefully this drop in frequency is only a temporary measure. Until we know more, we will still be here, churning out fishing and hunting stories—and zapping them to you electronically.