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Art & Inspiration What's up with The Rodders Journal?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mikko_, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. Ever since the publication moved here two years ago, a visit to the TRJ office has been part of the routine. Their lease is through an old friend of mine so the office location is hardly a secret. Many of us locally have volunteered hours there, lending a helping hand. And TRJ always welcomed a visit from any hot rodder who happened by traveling through on I-95.

    Is there disappointment here? Yes. People feel upset and confused? You bet. However, there is no motivation for any sort of confrontation.

    To the contrary, first and foremost is concern for Steve's welfare. And second is finding out if there is a plan for the future, and how this mess gets sorted out.

    My guess is that there is more to the story than what is posted here on exactly what is going on at TRJ. Business owners get into a bind for all sorts of reasons. In time we'll all know. Right now, however, we're in the dark.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  2. I bought one of the 'lifetime' subs the last time they were available and at the time I figured this was probably a way to inject some fast cash into the business. I didn't figure it was for any nefarious reasons, but assumed they may have been in a bit of financial trouble and needed to get past it. It's a nice mag, thought I'd do my part to help keep them afloat with the thought in the back of my mind that I may not get all that I paid for. It really should have been obvious to everybody...

    I don't think there was any intent to cheat anyone, but a short-term fix if there's underlying issues rarely works. I think they are or were trying to salvage the business, but further events outside their control may have overwhelmed them. The cost of their move (as a long-term goal it may have been justified, but probably not a good short-term decision), the distributor destroying most of a printing run, turmoil at the post office, increased shipping costs, probable loss of advertising revenue and Covid adding layers of additional difficulties on top of it all may have created a 'perfect storm'. The last place I worked before retiring went though more-or-less the same process. One short-term decision that wasn't the best, then a cascading of negative issues beyond the owner's control and bingo, you're out of business...

    The last issue I received was #82. To be honest, TRJ wasn't quite what I expected when I got my issues. Production values were excellent and as a walk down memory lane it's unsurpassed. Features have been a bit schizophrenic IMO as more than a few 'gold chainer' type cars have turned up, and that's reflected in the advertisers most of whom aren't exactly targeting this crowd. The lack of any technical and how-to articles was surprising and disappointing. If the magazine doesn't survive, I won't really miss it. I'm not going to pile onto their management either, their problems are many and I suspect at the end if it comes they'll be lucky to come out with the clothes on their backs. If actual fraud was involved, the proper authorities will take note. Bad decisions aren't illegal...

    This place is still the best source of information I've seen... So don't fuck up Ryan...
    Fortunateson, 5window and Jimmy B like this.
  3. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,772

    J'st Wandering

    So often businesses get into a bad financial position and can not recognize where they are headed. Often they are ran by nice people. No fraud intended but in the end, they need to be responsible for their decisions.

    For as long as I can remember, TRJ has had problems getting mag issues sent out. Who is surprised? A search here on the HAMB will find this topic has been discussed before.

    For TRJ to be taking payment for merchandise or subscriptions now is wrong. Time to man up. I could be wrong but the fat lady is backstage.
  4. This keeps coming up. Surely there would be some kind of compensation to TRJ over this? Insurance?
    TRJ won't talk, but just wondering out loud.
  5. Woodie
    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 52


    Maybe I need to clarify something here. Yes I like being here and I intend to stay. The address that I posted is no secret, it's not Steve's home, it's the business address of "Rodders Journal" and is listed in the front of every issue. As I suggested in my post , maybe someone could pay a visit to their place of business and offer to take Steve to lunch ( not a "Lynch mob") and give Steve a chance to tell his side of the story. It doesn't look like that is going to happen. I also know Steve personally, I first met him at the "Street Rod Nationals" when he was introducing the "Premier Issue" of "The Rodder's Journal". We had a very friendly visit and I had him sign my first issue.!! I still have that issue and have been a subscriber every since,( now a Lifer ) so I wish him well and hope like everyone else that He and the publication can see their way through this.!! "Just A thought".!!
    rpm56, lurker mick, Blue One and 4 others like this.
  6. Yeah, this aspect has a funny smell to it. There's more to this than meets the eye...
    low down A likes this.
  7. grumpy65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2017
    Posts: 929


    Touche @Woodie , touche....................:D:D:D
    Woodie likes this.
  8. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,191

    from red oak

    Never said this on a forum before. But prayers go out for the Steve and the anyone involved with the Company. People need a little bit of moral support once in a while. Everything runs fine in a perfect world. But this has been far from a perfect world as of lately. If you have ever been self employed. You understand it`s not easy. If not, you have no idea what kind of crap we have to put up with.
    drdave, micksmith, Malcolm and 15 others like this.
  9. It is a double edge sword and ironic, that something we love so well here on the interweb (HAMB) ..... can be and perhaps contributes to the demise of what we love so well there in print..... (Rodders Journal, Taditional Rod and Kulture Illustrated, Rod and Custom)
    dirty old man and grumpy65 like this.
  10. rod1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 843


    I couldn't have said it better.Empathy is perhaps the most needed thing this world could use right now..
  11. Shutter Speed
    Joined: Feb 2, 2017
    Posts: 876

    Shutter Speed

    And not one mention of DeJoy and the USPS debacle.

    You realize TRJ is not the ONLY entity in the US mailing stuff.

    I got Christmas cards in February.
  12. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,772

    J'st Wandering

    Maybe lack of payment had something to do with this incident too. Just guessing which usually is wrong. ;)
    low down A likes this.
  13. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,897

    A Boner

    Those lifetime subscriptions were tempting...but also a red flag. Things aren’t looking too good for “The Rodder’s Journal“.
  14. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,977


    I figured that going in, but pretty much have broken even, or better, and maybe helped them get to issue 84.
  15. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,191

    from red oak

    People do know what the meaning of ass-u-me is. This is why I don`t do facebook.
  16. ...maybe someone who is friends of Steve could just call him and get the real story...
    fargoguy and 5window like this.
  17. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,704

    from Nebraska

    Lil32, seadog and lothiandon1940 like this.
  18. grumpy65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2017
    Posts: 929


    There have been some here that say they are friends of the TRJ team. I guess they can't get through either, or are keeping quiet....................
  19. Blue Moon Garage
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 286

    Blue Moon Garage

    At lunch on Saturday a friend stated he heard that TRJ is no longer in business. Didn't say where he got his info but remember when all the magazines were cancelled at the same time......did you get an explanation from them? Usually, when they're gone, they're gone. Period.
  20. 270283
    Joined: Jun 11, 2006
    Posts: 413


    Just received my 2020 TRJ Holiday catalog. Was postmarked from Lancaster,Pa., which is an hour's drive from here. Three months to travel less than sixty miles. I feel bad for any business that relies on the Postal Service at this time. When the going got tough on Fed Ex and UPS before the holidays, they began refusing shipments to ease their burden and maintain what they could of their delivery standards. All of the considerable overflow landed on the Post Office, which was dealing with cutbacks due to reasons beyond their control. It may not be the only problem that TRJ is having, but it surely hasn't helped their situation. Hope they can pull through.
    kidcampbell71 and 5window like this.
  21. Lil32
    Joined: Apr 4, 2012
    Posts: 1,808


    maybe of topic
    ordered a book from Hawaii
    arrived 6 days later
    great Fed Ex service
  22. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,482

    phat rat

    Keep blaming the mail. I've bought 17 items sent USPS since mid Jan and the longest took 4 days. The mail sometimes drops the ball but do you honestly believe the entire readership of TRJ suffers bad delivery? That's BS, the same as all the excuses about why they don't communicate. About time to face the fact that they are down the tubes
  23. A key aspect of crisis management is communication. Where there is no information, speculation will fill the void.
  24. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,278


    Its over. Elvis has left the building and he's not coming back. Move on.
    Saxman, fauj, PoTaToTrUcK and 2 others like this.
  25. borderboy1971
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 744

    from Canada

    Just today, a raggedy looking postal worker that looked alot like Kevin Costner showed up at my place with the latest copy of TRJ, he was worn out from the months of travelling and was tired and weak so I gave him a bed for the night and some nourishment. He said the country is starting up again and the USPS was one of the ways things were gonna start to get back to normal..... hopefully you guys picked up the reference to the movie "the postman" in my post and got a chuckle. We all need one.
    Saxman and Speedy Canuck like this.
  26. dserge
    Joined: May 10, 2020
    Posts: 32


    TRJ group are common crooks, as someone said in a earlier post as of three weeks ago they were still taking subscription money.
    Have problems in business is common and somewhat understandable. But not communicating with your customers and still taking money is not excusable.
    PoTaToTrUcK likes this.
  27. I don’t buy blaming the USPS. I do think they suck but why do I receive my Surfers Journal on time?
    chickenridgerods likes this.
  28. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 371

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    Yes me too. Didn't think to look at the postmark before recycle binning it. Oh well... For whatever reason, another magazine gone. It will happen to all eventually due to these things we're all using to post here with. We troglodytes can only hold out for so long, before the current generation takes over.
    dirty old man likes this.
  29. grumpy65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2017
    Posts: 929


    Very wise, and very true, as exemplified by this thread..................
    5window likes this.
  30. Deucedreamer
    Joined: Jan 11, 2010
    Posts: 540

    from BC Canada

    I was curious about subscriptions, so I just went to their website. They are still accepting both new and renewal subscriptions. It states you can start with issue 84 or issue 85. So maybe all isn't lost? It is suspect though and I feel for all those who are out money.

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