CMO Magazine Ceases Publication

CMO – The Resource for Marketing Executives – Home Page – CMO Magazine

Sad days for a great publication: 

"CXO Media suspends publication of CMO magazine As we have chronicled in our print magazine and on our website, one of the CMO’s greatest challenges is balancing a plan for long-term growth with the pressures to produce short-term results. An inability to strike the proper balance is a key contributor to the CMO’s startling 24-month average tenure. At CMO magazine, we share your struggles – and your short shelf life. Current business realities require us to suspend publication of our 16-month-old magazine as of the January 2006 issue. The extraordinary feedback and support from the CMO community has not been enough to sustain and grow our advertising-supported business in what has become a severely challenged publishing environment. As a result, we have decided to hit the pause button, take a step back, and consider alternative business plans. It is my sincere hope that we will be able to return with an exciting strategy to invigorate the business and once again begin serving what has quickly become a faithful community of senior marketing executives and other marketing practitioners. We will keep the website lit up so you can continue to access our existing content. And Constantine von Hoffman will continue for now to offer his unique insights from his blog. In the meantime, I would like to thank you, our loyal readers, for your patronage, your thoughtful feedback, and your commitment to helping us build this new brand. I would like to thank our advertisers and sponsors for their staunch support. I would like to thank our publisher, Steve Twombly, along with the rest of the sales, marketing, operations and events staff at CXO Media for their tireless efforts in launching CMO in 2004 and driving it forward over the past year and a half. Most of all, I would like to thank CMO’s talented team of writers, editors and designers for producing a consistently high-quality magazine that surpassed everyone’s expectations. The flame burns brightest, the saying goes, just before it flickers out. CMO has never burned more brightly.

Rob O’Regan, Editor in Chief

Paul Conley blogs a nice tribute. 

Cringely on Pay-Per-Click Nuking Publishing

PBS | I, Cringely . December 29, 2005 – Stop the Presses!

Cringley takes a unique look at the effect of Yahoo and Google on traditional publishing models, offering a unique perspective that the challenge is the shift in ad spending away from "passive" media, ie a print ad which has no intelligence nor accountability, but real estate, arguing that there is no way a typical web page can duplicate the ad-edit ratio imposed on print by 2nd Class postage rates. While a stretch, he does hit close to the nerve — that the avalanche towards accountable pay-per-click is putting huge deflationary pressure on content value as publisher rush to make the online transition but find there simply isn’t the same economic margins from a page view on "glass" vs paper. 

"…pay-per-click, which is brutally honest, where every successful ad has efficacy and advertisers have a pretty darned good idea what they are getting for their money. This reality is precisely why magazines, newspapers, and television are losing revenue to pay-per-click. It is a trend that is likely to continue, and can only result in a degradation of production standards on the print side to match the reduced revenue potential of the online business, where BS gives way to measurable, though impoverished, results."

The play for publishers is to recast themselves as editorial creators and more as a marketing service firms — this is where lead generation comes in, the online equivalent of the old reader service bingo cards that cluttered the back of most pubs in the past. By becoming extensions to their advertisers’ marketing and sales efforts, publishers are putting themselves periously out into a frontier they are neither comfortable with operationally nor ethically.

I think the play for online publishers is to embrace the one thing that distinguishes them from marketing pimps — their editorial ethics and objectivity — and begin to provide a neutral haven for their audience’s information. Taking that information as currency and then acting as a blind drop broker in sharing it, and protecting it, from advertisers. By continuing to gate content, rent lists, and otherwise pimp their readers to their advertisers, publishers will diminish their credibility further, alienate the audience, and lose the one piece of credibility that distinguishes them from the herd — objectivity and neutrality.

I’ll develop the rant further in the future.