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Thursday, November 20, 2008

PC Mag shuts print edition to focus online

PC Magazine's owners are closing down its print version in favour of focusing energies solely online. The Christian Science Monitor made the same decision earlier this year, and a number of regional newspapers in the US are trimming back on print, dropping one or two editions a week to save costs and free up cash for other development, including online.

PaidContent posted this story about the decision on PC Magazine:

Ziff 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 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.
Thanks to Steve Outing via Twitter for the link. Steve had this to say on the decision:

"This morning I posted a few words to my Twitter account about PC Magazine’s decision to cease print publication…

"Tom Regan, a smart and talented journalist and media thinker I know, posted what I thought was a profound comment:

'I have a feeling that with the (Christian Science) Monitor and now PC Mag going in the online direction, it’s just the start of a tsunami over the next two years. The current economic situation, more than any other factor, will accomplish what a decade worth of net evangelism has failed to do.

"He’s so right."

Yes he is right, the economic situation will force the hand of hitherto complacent news companies to invest seriously in their online development.

That said, it's hard to see any sign of that process in regional New Zealand, where shovelware still reigns supreme.

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