The pair plan to aggressively target consumer categories including automotive, consumer electronics and entertainment.
BREAKING THE ICE
"I think the ice has already been broken," said Mr. Burstein, who takes the new post of senior VP-consumer advertising, representing the company's 19 business and consumer technology titles as well as its Internet publications.
Mr. Spanfeller will be publisher at one of the newer consumer titles, Yahoo! Internet Life, a 100,000 circulation every-other-monthly.
So far, Ziff-Davis has picked up only a handful of non-computer advertisers. Flagship PC Magazine and PC Computing have run a few ads for imported autos.
Even its consumer titles have been more reliant on computer-related ads. Of the 88 advertisers in the July/August issue of FamilyPC, there were only a half-dozen mainstream marketers, including Toyota Motor Sales USA, Virgin Records and Sears, Roebuck & Co. Of the 33 advertisers in the July/August issue of Yahoo! Internet Life, Eastman Kodak Co. was the only non-endemic advertiser.
Jack Edmonston, editor of the Computer Advertisers Media Advisor, said one hurdle facing Ziff-Davis is that costs per thousand are generally higher for computer magazines than for consumer titles.
CPM DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD
"The good news about being in the computer publishing business is that you can charge advertisers who are trying to reach a technical audience a higher price," Mr. Edmonston said. "The bad news is that when you're trying to sell to mainstream advertisers who don't care about the technical expertise of the audience, they can get a better buy elsewhere."
In another hire of an executive with a consumer publishing background, Ziff named Alexandra Penney, former editor in chief of Self, creative director-at-large.
Mr. Spanfeller will be reunited with Editor in Chief Barry Golson; the two worked together at Playboy several years ago.