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October 2010 Letters to the Editor

Four Wheeler Cover
Posted October 1, 2010

Jeep Rubicon Unlimited suspension kits, "low-buck" Mercedes G-Wagen and more!

Hydrostatic Pumps: What's in a Name?
In the July '10 issue, you published an article titled "Hydrostatic Rocker." Please make a correction in your next publication noting that the M46 pumps used in the systems are products of Sauer-Danfoss. Sauer-Sundstrand is the old company name that was changed over 10 years ago.
Molly Redenbaugh
Aftermarket Manager
Ames, IA

Duly noted. Thanks for the correction.

Wheeling in the Digital Age: Four Into One?
I am a recent subscriber to Four Wheeler and a new Jeep owner. I have been "shopping" truck magazines for several months. There are lots of them out there, and each one seems to offer something a bit unique. I like 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility, as it seems to focus on travel and adventure, which are my main reasons for buying my Jeep. The rest of it is tech articles and vehicle features. I like Jp, as it is all about Jeeps, though not so much on the JK. Four Wheeler and Petersen's both seem to offer more generalized content covering a bit of everything, and I picked Four Wheeler because I enjoyed it a bit more.

I noticed that all of the magazines I looked at came from the same publisher, which I found odd. Apart from one or two features in each magazine, the rest of the content seems like it could appear in any of your magazines, and it just seems to me like an incredible waste. Your editorial this month talks about the future of magazines in the Internet era (Limited Articulation, July '10). I think the easiest way to survive in the Internet era is to combine all of your little magazines into one fully featured magazine with great photography, 4x4 adventure stories, competition, product reviews, and tech articles.

There's no way I'm going to buy three or four magazines every month to get the content I want. I would, however, pay more every month for one really good magazine with more breadth and depth of coverage.

Another magazine I read regularly is the British publication Car. If you haven't seen it, take a look. It provides a broad view of the automotive world with a smart editorial style and massive amounts of content every month. It would seem to me that by combining the resources of four or five magazines, you could create one truly formidable 4x4 publication, and set yourself up for a profitable Internet age.
Wade Shaffer
Plano, TX

We're very familiar with Car. Their former Editor-in-Chief, Angus McKenzie, now occupies a palatial office suite in our building (across the hall from our grubby little boiler-room cubicles) where he now works as the editor of our sister pub Motor Trend.

We dig all of your ideas here, and agree with you that "consolidation" is a likely trend we'll see in the print publishing industry over the next couple of decades. The only complication for the short term is the fact that all of our print magazines still turn a tidy profit right now, so for the foreseeable future, be ready to see multiple 4x4 magazines on the newsstand. And if you can only pick one each month, we naturally hope you'll pick ours.

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