Another magazine publication is shutting down. The victim: PC Mag, the popular technology magazine that started hardware comparison and PC Mag got me into the technology business.
Ziff Davis Media announced Wednesday it was ending print publication of its 27-year-old flagship PC Magazine, and would take the title online-only.
“The viability for us to continue to publish in print just isn’t there anymore,” Jason Young, chief executive of Ziff Davis, said in an interview. However, while most magazines make most of their money from print advertising, PC Magazine derives most of its profits from its Web site. More than 80 percent of the profit and about 70 percent of the revenue come from the digital business, Mr. Young said, and all of the writers and editors have been counted as part of the digital budget for two years.
From the New York Time article, Ziff Davis was well prepared to shutter the magazine. What is missing if that Ziff Davis, the company that owned PC Mag, has been suffering for quite sometime now, as a former writer for PC Mag explained in a blog post
But then PC Magazine fell on hard financial times and there was wave after wave of layoffs. Eventually the ax came around to me. I’d been working as a full-time freelancer under a handshake agreement (yes, I’m naive) with then-editor Joel Dreyfuss, who had since left the magazine. The bean counters who’d taken management control were legally able to lay me off without severance pay, and they did – quite abruptly. That was how it ended for me after 12 years of 70-hour work weeks, producing what for a long time was the most popular column in the magazine.
Hopefully, PC Mag will continue to prosper on line and won’t have to completely shut down. The final edition will be published January 2009.