For the first time in its 33-year history, The ARRL Letter — the League’s weekly e-newsletter — has exceeded 100,000 subscribers. The tally for the June 25, 2015, edition was 100,139. The ARRL Letter is distributed free to all ARRL members who opt to receive it via their membership profile.
“I am gratified to see The ARRL Letter reach the 100,000-reader mark. It is testimony to the excellent journalistic work of News Editor Rick Lindquist, WW1ME,” said ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY. “It is astonishing to realize that, in terms of overall circulation, The ARRL Letter’s readership is now exceeded only by QST magazine itself.”
The ARRL Letter began as a bi-weekly, paid-subscription, 4-page newsletter delivered by snail mail to subscribers, who had to be ARRL members. The first edition was published on October 28, 1982. The focus was on delivering breaking news to members who didn’t want to wait for the next issue of QST to read about it. The first editor was Peter O’Dell, KB1N (now WB2D), as editor, and Wayne T. Yoshida, KA6KGU (now KH6WZ), as associate editor. The banner headline in the first edition: “Flash! FCC Gives 10 MHz to Hams NOW!” The inaugural edition also covered ARRL’s proposal to the FCC to have volunteers administer Amateur Radio exams instead of the FCC.
Lindquist has served twice as editor of The ARRL Letter. He oversaw the transition of the newsletter from a print-only publication to an e-publication in the mid-1990s. For more than 10 years, The ARRL Letter appeared in subscribers’ inboxes as a plain ASCII text publication. After Lindquist retired from the ARRL Headquarters staff in 2007 and Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, took over as news editor, The ARRL Letter was reconfigured as an HTML publication that included color photos and ads of interest to readers. When Keane left HQ in mid-2013, Lindquist was tapped to return as news editor, which he does — thanks to the Internet — on a part-time basis from his home in Down East Maine.