US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for May 22, 2023: You criticized, we listened

Cuts made to the May monthly issue primarily came from the U.S. Coins Values section, including for modern and current series like Washington quarter dollars. Reader objections to the changes have led us to restore the excised series, though cuts have had to be made to other sections to compensate.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Last month in this column, I had the tough duty of explaining that rising production costs had forced us to reduce the page count (to 140 pages) for the May monthly issue of Coin World, with the necessary cuts in editorial content being made to the U.S. Coin Values section. We anticipated negative feedback but hoped that the reminder that the full valuing system was online would mollify readers. It did not.

Beginning in this 132-page issue, the full U.S. Coin Values section is restored. You told us that you did not like the changes, and many of you said that those cuts would factor into future decisions about renewing your subscriptions. Many of you we spoke with responded that you lacked computer access, making the full digital price guide inaccessible. The complaints came from both dealers and collectors.

With the full restoration of the valuing section and the loss of eight pages when compared to the May issue, this June edition features necessary cuts in other sections.

The World Coins section has shrunk from May’s 28 pages to this month’s 12 pages. The amount of advertising is roughly the same between the two issues, but we have had to cut the editorial content. Gone are the columns “Ancients Today,” “Topical,” “European Report” and “Photo Finish,” and the “New Issues” coverage is reduced considerably. The amount of editorial content in this section totals what is supported by the paid advertising offering world coins. For years we have subsidized editorial content in an amount unsupported by advertising. In today’s publishing reality, that is no longer financially possible.

We have made some cuts to the Paper Money section as well, from the 16 pages offered in the May issue to 12 pages in this issue. The reduction of editorial content consists of our two type note columns and two pages of news. Again, as with the World Coins section, the ratio between editorial and advertising content is more financially balanced than before.

The cuts to the front and back sections devoted to mostly U.S. coins content are much more minor, again reflecting a ratio of editorial to advertising that is supported by the latter. The cuts have been made mostly to the space previously devoted to news, so most of the old columns survive.

We know that these new cuts will anger some of you. We apologize to both our readers and freelance contributors. The decisions to cut certain kinds of editorial content were based on advertising support and overall reader interests. Many of the upset readers who called and wrote us after receiving their May issue pointed to the World Coins and Paper Money sections as being “better” targets for cuts rather than the U.S. Coin Values section. The cold equations of advertising support in those sections would seem to back those readers’ requests.

Why are we making these changes? We have reduced page counts to save on the costs of production and mailing, both of which are very expensive and unlikely to come down in cost in the future. Instead, print publishers like Amos Media Company are faced with stiff increases in costs of all kinds with no end in sight, forcing cuts to print publishing and a greater reliance on digital-only content. For example, on the philatelic side of our company’s business, half of the weekly issues of Linn’s Stamp News are now available only in digital format, with publication of those issues in print ended. We are trying to avoid that with Coin World, although we may provide readers with additional content that is digital only.

No one at Amos Media is happy with the decisions we have had to make. But they have been necessary.

We remain committed to providing subscribers with editorial content that they can enjoy reading and will find useful. That mix of content may change from time to time, as it has these last few months.
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