The encouragement came in the form of a $1 billion pool set up for all UBM subsidiaries to ramp up their acquisitions, and Weitzner has taken advantage of the opportunity. In the last few months, he has significantly built up CMP's presence in the trade show and online arenas.
Since November, CMP has made several key acquisitions. It acquired MediaLive International's Technology Group for $65 million. It paid $12.3 million for Shorecliff Communications, which serves the RFID (radio frequency identification), IPTV, broadband and wireless infrastructure industries. It bought Black Hat, which produces information security conferences, for $10 million.
But Weitzner is quick to note that CMP's strategy is not purely acquisition-driven. He pointed to the February launch of smallbizresource.com, which targets both the SMB and SOHO markets, and the growing appeal of "The News Show," a daily online news program covering technology markets. Ad inventory for "The News Show" is sold out for the rest of the year.
"Innovation has to be part of the culture," Weitzner said. "We're trying to change the nature of our business. First we were business publishers, then a b-to-b media company, but now we're trying to be a b-to-b marketing solutions company."
With an eye on branching out online, Weitzner has been busy matching new properties with existing ones. For example, at press time, CMP was preparing to launch darkreading.com, a security portal. The new site is a collaboration between Light Reading, which was acquired by CMP last summer, and the company's Business Technology Group. It features content related to IT security from several of CMP's properties, including SecurityPipeline.com.
Like other top b-to-b media executives in the tech space, Weitzner won't hesitate to kill an underperforming print product and shift its content online. CMP did just that with Secure Enterprise, which was shuttered as a print publication in February.
"We're breaking down components of print" into Web sites or other online programs and custom-published products, Weitzner said, adding that advertisers should be able to buy ad space from whichever channel they want. -Matthew Schwartz