7 On Your Side

Mountain View man upset PC World goes online

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Did you ever have a favorite product that suddenly was no longer made? It can be a real heartbreak! It happened to a South Bay man who just received the last edition of his favorite magazine. It's going away and he wants it back, so he came to 7 On Your Side for help.

Our viewer works as a biotechnology consultant loves computers, loves gadgets, loves technology, but he also loves relaxing with an old fashioned magazine. Now, that is no longer an option.

Ron Herman of Mountain View is right at home in Silicon Valley. He works on computers all day and he reads about computers at night.

"What new toys are coming out, what new computers, what new phones, what new cameras," said Herman.

For the past 16 years Herman has relied on the publication "PC World Magazine" to keep up with the latest in technology. He enjoys the magazine because, ironically, he likes to get away from computers when he reads about them.

"I stare at the screen for six, eight hours a day. It's fun to do something different. It's just pleasurable to sit there and turn the pages and look at the pictures," said Herman.

However, now he can't do that anymore. A notice just appeared on the cover of PC World's August edition. It says this is the last print issue of the magazine. After 30 years on the newsstands, PC World will now be offered online only.

"I think this is unfair. We had a contract. I paid them in advance for a subscription for 12 print issues," said Herman.

He admits it's only natural for a computer magazine to go digital. Still he was upset that PC World dumped the magazine without warning and switched everyone automatically to its online edition.

"There are times and places where you don't want to have hardware. You're not going to take hardware out to the swimming pool," said Herman.

"I think ultimately we're going to see a lot fewer magazines," said associate professor Yumi Wilson.

Wilson is a journalism professor at San Francisco State University. She says more publications are going online only because print is expensive and ads are fewer. Most notably, "Newsweek Magazine" published its final print edition last December after 80 years on newsstands. "U.S. News and World Report" went online-only back in 2010. And "PC Magazine" -- similar to "PC World" -- did away with its print edition in 2009.

"I think we're still going to see content provided by Newsweek and others. I think we're just going to see them in different forms," said Wilson.

PC World tells 7 On Your Side print was "no longer financially viable, but we think the advantages of features in digital such as video, interactive content, and accessing PC World on multiple devices will be a hit with readers."

Herman says he'll just miss flipping pages, reading on the beach. He never had to worry his magazine would run out of battery or get stolen.

"It's sad the times are evolving. The question is do we adjust or do we lament the past?" said Herman.

"PC World" readers who don't want to go online have until August 21st to get a refund. The publisher tells us at this point eight percent of readers have canceled and 91 percent switched to the online edition.

As for Herman, he says he'll take a look at it, but still doesn't love the idea of reading on his computer.

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mountain view, internet, 7 on your side, michael finney
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