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Hi, JBConner... welcome to the community. The basic concept of Taste of Home is still the same as it has always been = all recipes submitted by readers. Look at any of the other national magazine and you will find maybe two or three readers' recipes.. So, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: THiIS MAGAZINE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. Yes, ads are paying the frieght, but tell me where it isn't. Times are tough, all over, not just in the job market or the price of gasoline, but in every industry, every where. Keep sending in your recipes, make the magazine YOUR magazine, and it will happen.
♥ Life is a song, sing it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a dream, realize it, Life is a sacrifice, offer it. Life is love, enjoy it. And, life is cooking, eat it. (Sai Baba & Judy)♥
♥ Judy Batson, Field Editor, Taste of Home, 2009 ♥ Contest Winner, Country Woman, 2011♥ Meet me at Cooking for Two.
I was a subscriber for many years ever since I got married in fact. A friend of mine knowing my lack of knowledge in the kitchen bought me a subscription, I also received many cookbooks as gifts (my culinary ignorance was common knowledge). TOH, however, was the only one I used; the recipes were simple enough for a novice, ingredients readily available at the supermarket and didn't break the budget, dishes were fairly easy to make and most importantly they were delicious! Many years later my cooking talent grew and I have tried many "gourmet" dishes but TOH has always been a foundation. About a year ago I lost my job and times got tough, unfortunately my subscription was one of the "extras" that had to get cut and I missed it. As soon as I got another job the first thing I did was renew my subscription and couldn't wait to get my first magazine in almost a year!
Can you imagine how disappointed I was to get the puny, anemic, commercialized document that is passing for TASTE OF HOME??? At first I seriously thought I had received the wrong magazine or maybe this was a supplement but no to my horror this was the regular "magazine" that I would get every other month!!! Gone was the heavy-papered, glossy magazine with the page after page of recipes and helpful hints. The gorgeous photography. The kitchen makeovers that didn't involve a designer, contractor, and financial adviser to accomplish. The different "Grace" that families said before eating (guess that would be offensive to some so that's gotta go). All gone and in its place is cheap paper stapled together that gives the feel more of a tabloid then TOH, advertisement on every page (that's one of the things that distinguished this magazine from the rest), all idiotic "hints" and "tips" that are so common place and redundant and found in everyother cooking/home magazine. I use to anxiously look forward to the arrival now I could care less.
I wish I had kept my older copies like many did but I wanted to share this wonderful magazine and never dreamed it would end. I will not be renewing my subscription and please field editors don't insult me and other long term subscribers by saying that the changes are improvements because they are not and that it was necessary for the survival of the magazine; at a certain point when quality is gone its better to pull the plug then to deal with a slow, painful, and ugly death.
"and please field editors don't insult me and other long term subscribers by saying that the changes are improvements because they are not and that it was necessary for the survival of the magazine; at a certain point when quality is gone its better to pull the plug then to deal with a slow, painful, and ugly death."
EXACTLY! THANK YOU...MY SENTIMENTS MIRROR YOURS. The entire CONCEPT of the magazine has changed---not just little tweaks and improvements here and there which everyone expects and can tolerate. And the advertising doesn't really bother me! It's actually quite insulting as an over 10-year reader of the magazine that we are accused of "not knowing what we're talking about".
cookbookmomIt's actually quite insulting as an over 10-year reader of the magazine that we are accused of "not knowing what we're talking about".
I can only speak for myself when I say I would never tell you that your feelings are not justified or that you shouldn't feel how you do. We all have different likes and dislikes, that's what makes us all so special.
I can only say why the editors have changed the things they've changed and I can tell you that I have forwarded your concerns to the editorial staff. Some things they have control over and some they don't.
I do know that the decision was made recently to refocus on great home cooks such as yourself, so I'm hoping as those changes come through in new issues you'll find them to be positive.
Thanks for sharing your concerns with us.
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I do understand the needs for advertising. But as far as greatness of ads, i'm going to tend to disagree with you. Its one thing to have ads, but its another too have too many. TOH is moving towards that direction. When TOH begins allowing other types of advertisements besides food products and recipies (ex Kraft food recipies) I think they will begin to see some dropping of subscriptions. To me 25% of ads is more than enough in a magazine, especially when some of the more recent magazines have held 33-50% of the magazine being in the advertisement section.
Just my thoughts on this matter.
I'm sad to say that my renewal arrived in the mail yesterday. After over 20 years of happily sending it in to renew this year it went in the trash. I understand that cost is a factor in the new format but I would have been happy to spend more on my subscription to keep it without advertisements. Maybe TOH would have been surprised to find that they have subscribers that valued the advertisement free format so much that they would be willing to spend a little more on it.
As for me, I don't care to spend money to be advertised to.
I agree! Times are very difficult and the editors have done a great job of juggling the advertisements in the magazine. Keep up the good job TOH!
I have been a subscriber since the beginning with the original sample magazines, etc., on and off some years, but the change is just fine and I don't mind it. Even at first there were recipes I didn't like and a lot that I did. All I can volunteer to those who do not like it, start submitting your own recipes to them so they can post some good ones. I frequently plan my weekly menus around the recipes/ideas that I find in the magazine. Again, some I like and some I don't, but as a whole, I love the magazine. It's something nice to flip through and "read" while I've got a moment in my day to relax :)
I have been reading and cooking from TOH magazine since 1996. I let my subscription run out a few years ago (about the time this thread was started) because I didn’t like the changes in the magazine.
I picked up the last two issues (August/September and October/November 2012) at the grocery store, and I am seeing an improvement. Thank you to TOH for improving the readability of the type, especially the recipes. The photography is much better too. I enjoy seeing the entire photograph in clear focus -- thank you -- and I like seeing pictures of real people who cook. I don’t like the ads, but I may clip out some of the pages and keep them in a binder.
My Mother gave me a cookbook, TOH Quick Cooking Annual Recipes 2012, this year for my birthday. It is very nice. There are no ads, the recipes and pictures are easy on the eyes, and there are lots of meal planning ideas with all of the recipes for one meal together. If you don’t like ads, may I suggest you consider spending your money on one of TOH’s cookbooks instead of the magazine.
I agree, the latest issues harken back to the older issues somewhat. I just began an new subscription with Taste of Home and am happy to find many new recipes to try. I have all my old magazines from several years and always find something to try as I flip through them. I keep a card in each category of my recipe file that lists the recipe name and magazine issue of some of my favorites so that I can continue to make them.
I had a TOH and Quick Cooking subscription for many years and LOVED every issue! I ended my subscription for a period of time and was very excited to renew recently as I had very fond memories of the magazines. I used to be so excited to get them in the mail and POUR over every page over and over again! I felt there were such useful recipes that included meal plans and wonderful articles that I could relate to. I also gave many gift subscriptions to new brides because I loved it so much and wanted to share!
I just received my first TOH since renewing and have to say, I was incredibly disappointed! I was actually shocked at what I saw! Never mind the ads. I noticed and didn't like it, but I completely understand that this is a for-profit publication and $10 for a subscription is next to nothing. I wasn't too concerned about that. What did sadden me tremendously was the missing "homey" feeling the magazine once had: the articles, the beautiful yet simple pictures, and the meal plans/themes that used to be a part of the magazine. It felt "human" and real to me. I feel the magazine I once loved is lost and this new "Taste of Home" is an unfortunate replacement. I won't lie: I don't have much interest, if any, in this new format. I will likely not renew and stick to the website to find recipes, as there is really no reason for me to read the magazine now (the articles I once loved are GONE and the only thing left to read are the ads).
I have read other comments that "we couldn't keep publishing the same thing over and over again." I get that, too, but put a new spin on what is already loved by your readers rather than completely reformat the magazine and leave us with this uninteresting and bland replacement. I am so incredibly sad that I didn't keep all of my old issues, as they are now just a beloved memory that is no longer available in the "new and improved(?)" Taste of Home.
P.S. I think for me, the articles were even more loved than the recipes (which were also wonderful!). My mother died when I was young and I literally learned how to cook with TOH. Someone gave me a subscription as a wedding gift and I cherished everything about them! I really liked reading other readers' stories and experiences and felt such a connection because of the style of writing. It sounds silly, but the magazine honestly felt like a friend somehow and I am mourning the loss of that friend. Now everything about TOH simply feels cold and impersonal, just any other ordinary publication. Sad :(
You know, some folks might think all these comments are neglected, not taken into consideration, but they would be wrong. The very fact that readers take the time to tell the editors what they think means they have a passion for the Taste of Home magazines, or they wouldn't bother to write. As a volunteer field editor, I am also concerned about the changes in the magazine, but in the long run I have found most of them to be beneficial, needed and up to date. Your comments are well said. Be assured, your comments will be read.
I reiterate that the editors need to stop continuously "tinkering" with the format, layout, and such of the magazine. I understand certain changes are necessary, but for years the basic moniker and content was left alone--and people loved it! The old saying "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" really does have its place sometimes.
Now its becoming a fact that you simply never know what to expect when you receive each issue. 10 years ago---you knew.
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