OUR HUMBLE BEGINING - Scanner Digest Newsletter

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Back in the early 1980s, a few scanner buffs in the Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey area got together and started to distribute an informal newsletter by mail. The early information which was photocopied onto a few sheets of paper was crude by today's standard but at that time it was the only organized way that scanner monitors could share the information. The idea took off and soon Les Mattson, of Paulsboro NJ, headed up a group of staff writers; “column editors” as he affectionately called them, and within a year or so created what became known as the “Northeast Scanning News”.

Throughout the years Les Mattson worked diligently to produce this unique publication which became popular throughout the Northeast sector of the country. He recruited over two dozen column editors who submitted scanner related information from their respective coverage areas. Within a few years, NESN became known as a reliable source of frequency information for the public safety agencies in the areas of which it covered. Les continued the leadership at NESN as it was gaining popularity and finally during the mid-1990s the newsletter boasted to the fact of having over 1,000 subscribers. The readership came from as far north as Maine and to those who lived as far south as Virginia continued to support his efforts.

In the mid-1990s there was some restructuring within the organization and the popular newsletter was renamed “The Scanner Club”. Les continued as publisher/editor until he surprisingly announced his retirement from his duties. Obviously many hobbyists were saddened by Les' decision. A group effort headed up by Lou Campagna decided that a publication of this type needed to continue, so with the support of many of the former column editors a new publication was born.

Lou Campagna took over as editor of the new publication and the first newsletter was an attempt to recreate the unique format that was originally created by Les Mattson, then Publisher/Editor of the Northeast Scanning News. The premier issue of the Scanner Digest Newsletter debuted back in June 1998. The bi-monthly newsletter was formatted in an easy-to-read booklet and continued in that manner until the end of 2002. Many of our present column editors were part of the inaugural staff that wrote for NESN. We are proud to continue the tradition.

Unfortunately the high financial costs that were associated with the graphic layout, offset printing and mailing of a printed newsletter prevented us from continuing in such a manner. Starting with Issue 22 (January 2003) we began to produce the newsletter in the popular Adobe Acrobat PDF format and now it's distributed electronically to its subscribers.

At the beginning of 2003, Jeff Newton was appointed General Editor of the Scanner Digest Newsletter and is responsible for the daily business associated with the newsletter. Starting with the beginning of 2013, Alan Cohen has taken over the duties of the General Editor. Lou Campagna continues his role as publisher and is responsible for the mechanical layout of the newsletter and its electronic distribution.

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