The world of printed media took a hit this week with the announcement that PC Magazine is to cease producing a hard copy and concentrate solely on its website.
According to the New York Times
, the magazine's parent company Ziff Davis Media has opted to shut down the printed version due to a reduction in advertising revenue and increased costs associated with printing and distribution a physical product.
Jason Young, Ziff Davis Media's chief executive officer, stated that “the viability for us to continue to publish in print just isn't there anymore.
” Young has also said that over eighty percent of the profit generated by the magazine comes from the – far cheaper to run – on-line version, making the returns for creating the paper version just not viable in today's economic climate.
With a circulation that has been declining since its peak of 1.2 million at the end of last decade to its current figure of 600,000, the move shouldn't come as too much of a shock – and neither should the revelation that, although the company is due to turn a profit this year, the financial forecasts for 2009 predict a loss unless the magazine is ditched.
The good news for fans of the magazine is that the content should remain relatively unchanged: the newly-monikered PC Mag Digital Network
– no, seriously – has been playing host to content first for quite some time, with certain articles cherry-picked from the website to appear in the magazine. Most employees of the company are thought to be safe in their positions, too – although around seven employees who specialise in advertising, production, and circulation of the printed edition are due to leave as a result of the move, out of a total headcount of 140.
Young also dropped hints that the publication's sister magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, might also be going on-line only – although said that he would not be making a decision on that until the end of the year.
Are you saddened by the loss of a quality magazine from the news stands, or is online definitely the way to go for tech news? Share your thoughts over in the forums