‘InternetWeek’ closes doors

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CMP Media L.L.C.'s InternetWeek will cease publication, company officials informed staffers today. The next scheduled issue, Jan. 21, will not be produced, according to sources at the trade paper, which underwent a redesign just last September.

“Unfortunately, we are having to close InternetWeek based on the market,” said Alix Raine, VP-communications at CMP Media, which is owned by London-based United Business Media plc.

“The editorial premise of InternetWeek is to connect buyers and sellers to the enterprise. Even though it is a critical goal, the vendor community no longer supports InternetWeek as a separate marketing tool,” she said.

CMP would not comment on staff layoffs and said its policy is to find internal positions for employees when magazines are shut down.

CMP will continue to cover Internet-related news through other publications in its Business Technology Group, including Information Week, Network Computing, and Optimize.

The closure is the latest in a wave of setbacks to hit the technology publishing sector as a result of the weak economy and declining ad spending.

In a press release issued Jan. 9, United Business Media reported ad pages for the calendar year through November were down 25.4% at CMP Media. InternetWeek's ad pages were down 43% through November compared with last year, followed closely by InformationWeek, whose ad pages were down 42.6% for the calendar year. Also hard hit were CMP titles Electronic Buyers News, whose ad pages were down 29.2%, and Network Computing, which reported a 28.7% drop in ad pages through November.

The ad slump has affected the entire technology publishing sector, of course. The Industry Standard, published by Standard Media International, closed its doors in August after failing to find a buyer. The Red Herring, which covers technology finance, in September cut its frequency from weekly to monthly. CMP closed another publication, in October.

“Certainly, anything with ‘Internet’ in its title has taken a hit,” said Jeffrey Dearth, partner at DeSilva & Phillips L.L.C., a media investment bank.

“InternetWeek, as such, probably lost a little bit of its focus in terms of its intended audience, which is connecting enterprise customers and suppliers,” he said.

In 1997, during the early boom days of the Internet, CMP changed the name of its flagship telecommunications magazine CommunicationsWeek to InternetWeek. However, it lost advertisers in the process.

According to the Business Information Network (BIN) report from American Business Media and CMR, year-to-date ad spending through September was down 18.6% compared with the previous year.

Dearth said he expects ad spending in the technology sector to pick up by the second quarter.

--Kate Maddox

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