About Monitoring Times
A History of Monitoring Times - By Rachel Baughn, editor
MONITORING TIMES had its beginning as a bimonthly newspaper in January of 1982. Bob Grove had been answering many questions from monitoring hobbyists as a result of his book, the FEDERAL FREQUENCY DIRECTORY, plus other magazine articles he had written on the hobby. When Grove Enterprises began to manufacture and market monitoring accessories, MONITORING TIMES was conceived as a vehicle both to help answer these questions and to advertise Grove products.
The first issue was eight pages long. The cover story was on monitoring Space Shuttle communications. Bob Grove's introduction to the new publication put into words what has remained MT's primary philosophy: "Covering the vast swath of radio spectrum from the lowest to the highest frequency, MONITORING TIMES will present articles of unusual interest with objectivity and authority ... For the first time, active listeners to the radio spectrum will be treated seriously, not simply as stepchildren of some other vogue hobby."
By the end of the year, MT, which was in small newspaper format, had reached 24 pages. It was typeset and published by the local newspaper in Murphy, North Carolina.
In July of 1983, Grove brought the typesetting in-house, to produce camera-ready copy with a great improvement in accuracy. Rachel Baughn moved from the order desk to work exclusively on the typing and layout for the newspaper.
MONITORING TIMES Today
Three major changes make MT the magazine you see today.
(1) In January of 1984, MT gave in to popular demand and became a monthly publication. (2) In June of 1986, MONITORING TIMES -- up till then primarily a shortwave utility and scanner publication -- merged with Larry Miller's shortwave broadcast publication, INTERNATIONAL RADIO, becoming a tabloid with a color cover. Larry Miller shortly thereafter took the helm as managing editor. (3) In January 1988, MT made a major change in its image in a move to a standard magazine size and a glossy cover.
(MT is currently printed and mailed by Ovid Bell Press in Fulton, Missouri.In 1999 it switched from a high quality newsprint stock to an uncoated, white paper for maximum readability. )
The more convenient magazine size resulted in newsstand sales and a jump in subscriptions and in advertising. Another increase was experienced when the Persian Gulf War sparked public awareness of shortwave broadcasting, and the notoriety of monitoring cellular and cordless phones caused a swell of interest in scanning.
After seeing MONITORING TIMES well established, Larry Miller stepped down as editor in mid-1991, and Rachel Baughn has providing the guiding hand since then.
Although during the heyday of scanning MT expanded to 120 pages with a circulation of 35,000, it has returned to an average of 25,000 magazines distributed every month with 92 information-packed pages. MT continues to improve its appearance, with professional covers and layout and increased use of full color on the inside pages.
In content, the gradual move toward increased coverage of satellite communications resulted in a spin-off magazine, SATELLITE TIMES, in September 1994. Unfortunately, in 1998 SATELLITE TIMES had to be discontinued, and many of the satellite topics were brought back into MT. MT also attempts to keep readers informed of new digital communication technology and Internet resources, even though the bulk of the magazine remains devoted to the traditional areas of interest to radio hobbyists.
We are proud of all of our writing and production staff, whose work shows their continued enthusiasm for the hobby and for improving the quality of the magazine. The writing staff numbers 28 individuals from all across the U.S. and Canada. Free-lance features are accepted from writers around the world.
MONITORING TIMES began its life in Bob and Judy Grove's house. It was labeled and bundled for mailing at their kitchen table. Maybe that's why MONITORING TIMES and its readers have always felt like family!
We hope that you will find MONITORING TIMES to be a vehicle within which beginners can learn and grow and "oldsters" can teach what they have learned. Just as a family changes with the times, our publication also strives to remain responsive to the changing needs of our readers in the face of changing technology. Now, more than ever, we need to hear from you!
Rachel Baughn, Editor Monitoring Times, 7546 Hwy 64 West, Brasstown, NC 28902