‘Computerworld’ changes format

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Computerworld, a tabloid since its debut in 1967, is shifting to a magazine format with its July 9 issue. Matt Duffy, the magazine's VP-marketing, recently discussed the reasons for the change with Media Business.

MB: Why the shift?

Duffy: Like everyone else in the business, we're always looking to contain costs, especially on the print side. You have a wide range of things you can do, but a lot of them compromise the editorial quality and the biggest concern was for our readers. What are they going to think? Is it not going to feel like Computerworld to them? What about our advertisers? Are they going to suddenly say we don't like this, it doesn't suit us so much? So we put out feelers to see what people thought.

MB: What kinds of feelers?

Duffy: The most specific feeler was at an annual event we hold called Premier 100, which has the top 100 IT leaders in one place. There, we asked about 80 of them if they thought they'd read it less, more or about the same. Virtually all of them said about the same, a few said more and one said less. As long as you don't change the editorial quality, they don't care about the space that it's in. Some people liked the idea that it will be smaller and more mobile. This was a cost-cutting measure. We're not going to say we did it for our readers, but we wanted to make sure they would be OK with it. What's funny is that the magazine is 40 years old and it's probably changed sizes 20 times over the years. But the changes haven't been drastic. It can be an eighth of an inch here, things like that.

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