CMP seeks growth amid ad downturn

Under pressure

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As one of the three biggest tech publishers in the U.S., CMP is feeling the heat from cooling IT spending. It recently laid off 33 people from its Web site, A CMP spokeswoman said there were additional cuts in the company's technology solutions group, but she would not specify the number.

Through February, CMP's ad pages were up 18%, compared with declines of 38% for Ziff Davis Media Inc. and 29% for International Data Group. And CMP's ad pages for the entire first quarter were down only 2%, while Ziff's fell nearly 36% and IDG's dropped 32%.

Yet, ad pages for the company's franchise title, Internet Week, were down 23% in the first quarter, compared with a year earlier. The magazine boosted its circulation from 400,000 to 440,000 in December and is in the process of building its editorial, sales and marketing departments.

"We've been hit by a common malaise, but we've stood up pretty well in market share," Marshall said.

Reed Phillips III, a managing partner at New York-based media investment banking company DeSilva & Phillips Inc., said he believes United is intent on developing a long-term strategy for CMP, but he added: "I wouldn't be surprised if there's something they want to shut down or sell off. It's what companies usually do a year after an acquisition."

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