This news has more to do with dead trees than electrons, but I can’t resist: Ziff Davis has announced that it’s selling its 1Up network of gaming sites to Hearst and shutting down Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine. Coming around six weeks after the company discontinued the print version of PC Magazine, the news leaves ZD with no paper-based publications at all.
Which is a big deal, since the 82-year-old publisher had as long, influential, and impressive a history of consumer publishing as any company on the planet. Among its titles over the years, other than EGM and PC Mag: Amazing Stories, Car and Driver, Computer Shopper, Creative Computing, MacUser, MacWeek, PC/Computing, PC Week, Popular Electronics, Popular Photography, Stereo Review, Yahoo Internet Life., and many others I’m not thinking of right now. Nobody published more successful mags read by more enthusiasts with a wider range of passions, or made more money doing so.
Ziff Davis remains in business and will be focusing its attention on the PCMag.com Web site network. Given the state of print publishing and Ziff’s many years of decline as a print powerhouse, its departure from magazine publishing isn’t surprising–and might even be a good idea. It surely won’t be the last old-school magazine publisher that leaves magazines completely behind. But it’s still hard to get my head around the idea that nobody anywhere will read Ziff Davis magazines anymore.
(Necessary but superfluous disclaimer: I spent 18 years working at IDG, Ziff Davis’s principal rival in tech publishing–which is still successfully publishing magazines around the world.)