I’m speechless: PC Magazine to cease publication

It’s the end of an era — PC Magazine will cease publication in January, as Ziff Davis Media focuses on its Web site and a new “digital network.”

According to the company’s press release,

Ziff Davis Media, one of the leading integrated technology media companies in the country, announced today that PCMag, its flagship brand, will go all-digital. The final print version will be the January 2009 issue. Further emphasizing its all digital direction, it was also announced the PCMag Network will be renamed PCMag Digital Network with PCMag.com as its lead property.

For the past seven years, PCMag has leveraged its long-standing position with technology readers and advertisers to build one of the leading digital media properties in the technology category. During this period, its digital assets registered annual audience and revenue growth of 33% and 42% respectively. Today, the PCMag Digital Network, with over seven million unique monthly visitors, reaches in excess of 10 times the circulation of the print publication.

“Moving our flagship property to an all-digital format is the final step in an evolutionary process that has been playing out over the last seven years,” stated Jason Young, CEO of Ziff Davis Media. “Since 2000, online has been the focal point where technology buyers get their information and technology marketers are directing their dollars to drive demand and build their brands. We have been carefully preparing for this step and are fortunate to have a digital business that has the scale, profit, and opportunity to carry the brand powerfully into the future.”

What’s funny is that the company has suddenly rebranded the print publication as PCMag. Historically, it has been PC Magazine. As the press release says,

“Over the last 27 years, PCMag has garnered an extraordinary level of trust and credibility among consumers and technology companies alike, who consider our news and reviews to be the gold standard in the industry. This is an exciting time for our company and we look forward to this next stage in the growth and development of the PCMag brand,” states Lance Ulanoff, Editor-in-Chief of the PCMag Digital Network.”

It’s sad to watch an industry flagship sink. Goodbye, PC Magazine. You’ll be missed. My business partner, Ted Bahr, who sold advertising for PC Magazine beginning with the December 1982 issue, offers his condolences as well.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick