73 Magazine, October 1960The first issue of 73
October 1960

Cover art by Bandel Linn, K8LAP (1912-1988).

In the 1850s, Western Union standardized 92 number codes of common phrases to speed sending of telegrams. The magazine title, 73, means "Best Regards."

After 5 years as editor of CQ magazine, Wayne Green wanted to start his own amateur radio magazine. He could not find investors so he sold 2 Porsches, a boat, an airplane and his Arabian horse to start 73. At first the staff was Wayne and his wife Virginia. The first issue of 73 Amateur Radio was October 1960 and it sold for 37 cents.

The original office was the Green's apartment in Brooklyn, New York. In July 1962 the magazine moved to Peterborough, New Hampshire. Wayne and Virginia were divorced in 1965. In December 1974 Virginia Londner Green was back as Business Manager of 73 Inc.
Never Say Die, 73 Magazine, August 1975

In each issue Wayne Green would write his "Never Say Die" editorial. These would cover a wide range of topics and could go on for 5 or 6 pages. (Today, this would be an internet blog.) A popular item was Wayne's railing against authority. It could be the old line amateur radio organization (ARRL), the FCC, the phone company or the government. In 1974 he was at war with the IRS, every issue from January to July gave accounts of the evils of the IRS. The July issue gave the news that Wayne lost and was convicted of tax fraud. The sentence was suspended.

Another famous battle was with the phone company. The June 1975 issue had an article "Inside Ma Bell"  by "Spenser Whipple Jr." and it had details on how to build a "Black Box", "Red Box", and the infamous "Blue Box", all devices intended to defraud the phone company.

The phone company settled with 73 Inc in January 1976. (Spenser Whipple Jr., Wayne Green, Virginia Londner Green and 200 John/Jane Does.)  All issues of the offending 73 Magazines had to be destroyed including those at public libraries. They also had to notify each subscriber and tell them to destroy the June issue. (Most subscribers ignored that and made Xerox copies to give to their friends.)

Wayne promoted the use of new technology in amateur radio. Some of the construction articles in 73 were using elaborate digital logic designs and the microprocessor was showing up in hobbyist kits. By 1975 the magazine was prospering and Wayne was looking for new magazine ideas. On May 25, 1975 Wayne and Virginia made a deal with Carl Helmers to be the editor BYTE magazine. The first issue was dated September 1975, but came out on August 6. (Magazines normally come out a week or two before the cover date, but Wayne could push that to a month early.)

For some reason BYTE was not published by 73 Inc, but by Green Publishing (incorporated on March 7, 1975). For the first four issues Wayne Green was listed as the publisher. The January 1976 issue listed Virginia Londner Green as the publisher. The February issue had an article titled "Our New Office" with a cryptic account of how BYTE moved into a separate building. In a January 1985 interview, Wayne Green relates that when he arrived at the office one day in November 1975, when the January issue was in the works, he found that everything had been moved out.

There was a legal battle but Virginia kept BYTE magazine. In response Wayne started a new computer magazine in January 1977. Kilobaud was successful and lead to a group of computer specific magazines such as 80 Microcomputing targeting users of the TRS-80 computer

Virginia Londner and Carl Helmers sold Byte Publishing to McGraw-Hill in April 1979 for a reported 2 to 3 million dollars. Wayne Green sold his publishing business to CW Communications in June 1983 for a lot of cash.

In March 1986 Wayne Green reacquired 73 magazine and continued publishing it until September 2003.

73 Amateur Radio Issues
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This page was last edited March 08, 2013