Thursday, June 14, 2007

CMP Technology to Fold Magazines, Focus on Digital

"Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius."
An Wang (Chinese born American Computer engineer and Inventor, 1920-1990)

In Major Restructuring, CMP Focuses Online
200 employees laid off, three magazines shut.
By Matt Kinsman

Faced with a precipitous category-wide decline in technology print advertising and massive change in audience information consumption, CMP Technology announced this morning that it is dramatically restructuring to focus on digital media, and in the process is laying off 200 people and closing three magazines.

"We found last year for the first time, our non-print revenues outstripped our print revenues," CEO Steve Weitzner said. "This year that trend is continuing and the gap is actually growing. We want to realign internal resources around these growth areas and look at opportunities in the marketplace and really go after them."

Consequently, Weitzner said, the company is putting its online businesses "at the center of everything we do and changing how we do print."

Network Computing and Optimize will be folded into InformationWeek, and SysAdmin will be folded. The positions being eliminated run the gamut from management positions to sales positions to editorial and back-office. "We are decentralizing certain functions like audience development and moving them from a corporate structure to be closer to their groups," Weitzner said. "The idea is to move away from the BPA-centric circ approach of audience development to an online-centric approach."

Here is a breakdown of how the changes will affect CMP Technology's main groups:

Business Technology Group:

As noted, InformationWeek will integrate biweekly Network Computing and the monthly Optimize into the one publication, and launch three monthly demographic editions with For IT, By IT; For CIOs, By CIOs; and Strategic Security. Online, will become the news arm of the TechWeb Network while becomes the umbrella for technical content. "The design is to allow the advertising base to buy in print the same way they buy online," says Weitzner. "Now they can buy a CIO-oriented audience, they can buy toward technical buyers, or buy the broad range InformationWeek audience that covers the market."

Channel Group:

CRN, which currently publishes three times per month, will scale back to twice per month, while bi-weekly VARBusiness will switch to monthly frequency. One sales team will handle CRN, VARBusiness and ChannelWeb. All editorial and market research will become part of The Institute for Partner Education and Development.

Electronics Group:

EE Times will continue as a weekly publication while CMP will make extensive changes to editorial and devote more resources to the online edition. "Virtually everything will come from the online edit staff, including technical pieces," says Weitzner.

Most of the frequency changes and changes to print lineup take place beginning in July.

While CMP parent United Business Media reported that CMP Technology posted double-digit growth to 366.6 pounds (or about $186.2 million) in 2006, the print side of the business has struggled. Overall, the Computing, Software and Telecom publishing category fell 6.7 percent to $1.39 billion in ad revenue and was down 5.7 percent to 42,141 ad pages in 2006, and through the first two months of 2007 was down 17.5 percent to $171.8 million in ad revenue and down 9.7 percent to 2,841 ad pages, according to Business Information Network.

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