So says Sam Whitmore at his MediaSurvey [registration required], where the homepage headline says:
“InfoWorld to Fold its Print Edition
Online is now king. The announcement is due Monday.”
No details available, and I’m too lazy to phone Sam to find out on a blustery Sunday, but if true, it’s not a big surprise, nor, does it mean anything especially dire or negative about the ongoing strength of the InfoWorld franchise online. I was at IDG two years ago, I knew its managers and editors, and the plan at IDG was to go hard in the direction of online at all possible velocity. Print is superfluous — only a delivery medium, nothing more — and seeing the cessation of one delivery medium for an emphasis on another is more a nostalgic thing than anything else, but I concede, a big piece of news nevertheless.
Jim Forbes, an ex-InfoWorld reporter and former colleague of mine at PC Week, delivers a great paean to one of the greatest names in tech journalism, home to legends such as John Markoff, former McKinsey-colleague Paul Freiberger, John Dvorak, Stewart Alsop …
“InfoWorld, which is owned by IDG, has a storied history. In its more than 20-year life, this magazine has been the launchpad for several notable computer journalists including Stewart Alsop, Maggie Canon, John Dvorak, Jonathan Sacks, Ziff Brother’s Investment counselor Michael Miller, PBS’ Mark Stephens (who left InfoWorld with the name of the magazine’s fictional field editor and gossip columnist, Robert Cringely) as well as New York Times technology journalists Laurie Flynn and John Markoff.”
In February IDG’s Colin Crawford, who coordinates the company’s online strategy, wrote these prescient words:
“In the US, our online revenue now accounts for over 35% of our total US publishing revenues. Next year, for many brands online revenues will be greater than print revenues, if fact they already are at some of our key brands and by 2009 – approximately 50% of IDG’s US revenues will come from online.
To drive this change and to focus on online revenue we’ve changed the business mission of our organization away from print. Going forward IDG Communications will define itself as a web centric information company complemented by expos, events and print publications.
The brutal reality that we’re facing today is the costly process of dismantling and replacing legacy operations and cultures and business models with ones with new and yet to be fully proven business models. However, we face greater risks if we don’t transform our organization and take some chances.”