OT: PC MAg to go to "online" only! ;(

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Ziff Davis To Close Print PCMag, Focus On Online; Still Looking For
Options For Gaming Division

By Rafat Ali - Wed 19 Nov 2008 03:00 AM PST

imageZiff Davis, the tech/gaming media company that recently exited
Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is now taking the brave but inevitable step of
closing down the print version of PCMag to focus its energy on its
growing PCMag online network of sites, led by flagship PCmag.com. The
magazine, which was started in 1982, has a storied history, but its
print base eroded over the years as its core brand of journalism—news
you can use while shopping for computers—moved online. It cut back
from bi-weekly to monthly earlier this year. PCMag, which literally
invented the idea of comparative hardware and software reviews, at one
time during the ‘80s averaged about 400 pages an issue, with some
issues breaking the 500- and even the 600-page marks, according to
this Wikipedia history.

The last issue will be dated January 2009; the closure will claim the
jobs of about seven employees, all from the print production side.
None of the editorial employees, who are now writing for the online
sites anyway, will be affected. The site will still be called PCMag
(with mag remaining in the name), but the online network—which has
sites such as ExtremeTech, Gearlog, Appscout, Smart Device Central,
GoodCleanTech, DL.TV, Cranky Geeks, and PCMagCast—will now be called
PCMag Digital Network, with PCMag.com as its lead property. The
company has about 200 employees, and the PCMag division has about 140
employees.

I spoke in detail today with Jason Young, the CEO of Ziff Davis, about
this move, the online focus, and the status of the company’s
more-troubled gaming division.

What he said after the jump

On the online side, he wouldn’t disclose the revenues for the PCMag
brand, but said it was in “tens and tens of millions” of dollars. He
said the revenues on the online side have grown an average of 42
percent yearly since 2001; digital is about 70 percent of the revenues
for the PCMag brand, and overall is profitable. He said that despite
the economic situation, the PCMag brand revenues grew about 18 percent
in Q308, and thinks that it will hold up despite advertising downturn
due to the power of the brand. Of course competition is heavy for
those shrinking ad dollars, from everyone including other established
brands like CNET, to newer ones like Engadget and others.

As for the status of its gaming group, which consists of its 1Up
online brand and other gaming sites and EGM print magazine (the only
print book left within Ziff Davis), Young said it is considering
strategic options for the division. Same is true for its now shuttered
DigitalLife consumer tech expo event. The company has tried to sell
the gaming division before as well but was not able to find the right
buyer then, our sources say.

Re: OT: PC MAg to go to "online" only! ;(

manthonyferrante@yahoo.com says...
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PC Mag was worthless for most anything they published.

--
- Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.
- Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented worker" is like calling a
  drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist"
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Re: OT: PC MAg to go to "online" only! ;(

Leythos wrote:

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Well, it was after they doubled their page count.  All the editorals and
reviews became nothing but regurgitated release notes from the software
vendors.  Their "journalists" devolved into mouthpieces for the software
vendors.  They reported what the software vendor told them to report.
PC Mag was only interested in maintaining their ad revenue and negative
reports on software reflected reduced revenue.  They were never an
independent software reporting service.

I had a paid subscription which ended when they changed their format to
be a mouthpiece for software vendors and the doubling of their magazine
was just wasted space.  I've gotten free subscriptions which I toss when
I got them since I wasn't going to waste my time reading that fluff.  

Re: OT: PC MAg to go to "online" only! ;(


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Which computer mags would you say are worth getting and yet is not too
technical for the average user? I used to get Smart Computing which I
did enjoy.

Mark

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