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(May 7, 2001) -- In a rapid strategic shift, Steven Brill, chairman and CEO of Brill Media Holdings, announced that with the September issue, Brill's Content will reduce its frequency from 10 times a year to quarterly.

A statement issued Friday by the company said this move was made "in order to reach break-even immediately."

"The reality is that [the] advertising picture is not likely to improve enough in this current economic environment to support our current frequency," the statement said.

Last month, following Brill Media Holdings' complex merger-cum-acquisition of Powerful Media, which published and Inside magazine, plans were made to meld Brill's Content with Inside to form a hybrid with a stronger business bent called Inside Content. But those plans have been apparently scuttled.

Mr. Brill also said in the statement that would begin charging for access beginning July 1.

Some of's more prominent staffers left in the wake of the Brill deal, with at least one -- Michael Cieply -- reportedly doing so after a tussle with the notoriously headstrong Mr. Brill.

Mr. Brill did not return a call seeking comment today.

Mr. Brill, in the statement, said that "launching any new magazine in this economic environment doesn't make sense."

Brill's Content has never had its ad pages audited by Publishers Information Bureau. When its circulation was last audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations, for the six months ending June 30, 2000, its circulation was 290,101. Early on, the business plan for Brill's Content, which launched in the spring of 1998, called for the title's circulation to top 400,000 after five years. In the wake of the Powerful Media deal, Mr. Brill said he expected an Inside Content magazine to have a smaller circulation than Brill's Content. -- Jon Fine

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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