VNU buys CMP UK and France: nightmare scenario realised

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There’s going to be an awful lot of computer journalists at CMP in London quaking in their boots today. For they are to be sold by new owner Miller Freeman to VNU. This was the nightmare scenario that CMP’s British hacks feared most. They breathed a collective sigh of relief a couple of months back when Miller Freeman outbid VNU (by $15 -$20 million ,we understand) to take control of the company. The price and terms for the CMP disposal are expected to be announced today. Being bought by VNU was the worst option for two reasons: first, half the staff at CMP, London used to work for VNU, and few of them would want to return, and second; many staff won’t have the option to work for VNU, even if they want to. For, there is huge overlap between CMP’s British titles and VNU. *CMP’s Network Week plays VNU’s Network News *CMP’s Information Week plays VNU’s Computing *CMP’s Computer Reseller News plays VNU’s PC Dealer. VNU titles are market leader in two areas, and is the strong number two in the corporate computing press behind Reed’s Computer Weekly. Reed tried and failed to buy CMP’s London interests. For what it’s worth, we guess Network Week will be closed down, except for the cult Bastard Operator From Hell column will transfer over to Network News. And we can’t see the point of Information Week UK. How much life is there left in this beast, post-VNU,is anyone's guess. We also reckon Computer Reseller News will merge into PC Dealer. In the UK, CRN has a stronger and more settled editorial team than PC Dealer, but its sales johnnies are not doing so well, as the VNU machine. Worldwide, CRN is a much stronger brand than PC Dealer. VNU must be tempted to adopt this brand , if it can secure European rights for the brand and sales- co-operation with CMP America. Which beggars the question: what’s happening to CRN in Germany? In the meantime, happy job-hunting to CRN hacks and sales johnnies, everywhere. ®

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