I just saw (via the Southgate Amateur Radio Club feed) that the first edition of WorldRadio Online has been released. I've made a quick scan of it, and my initial thoughts are that I'm impressed. Right off the bat, you notice that it looks better. The same general format is carried over, but it's in color and looks much better than the crummy cheap newsprint version. It appears that all of the same content and regular columns are pretty much still in place. I'm not a subscriber, so I'm not 100% sure of that, but I would get my teaser copy about every 6 months, so I do have some idea.
They also appear to still have all of the advertisments, which in my opinion is great. If they can get the sponsors to continue to pay for advertisments, while keeping the publication free, that would be a great step forward for ham radio publications. I am curious how they are going to change their ad pricing structure, since all of the traditional readership metrics have to be tossed out the door with online distribution.
One interesting change is that the QRP column has been reappropriated to now focus on trail friendly radio. I'm curious what the impetus was for this shift, but it should still be interesting. The regular columnist, KI6SN, has even setup up a new blog to compliment his revamped column.
I'm pleased to see that WorldRadio seems to be carrying on with the same level of professionalism as before. This shift in the distribution model could be healthy for the hobby (*ahem* QST *ahem*), but only time will tell if this is sustainable or not.