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Computing to be castrated?

IT Week poised to inherit crown

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UK Publishing news Computing, the slightly-less dull version of Computer Weakly, is obviously feeling the pinch and deems it necessary to embark on a redesign.

Print media has a serious problem apropos of news coverage. Sleazy webmongers such as The Reg will always beat them by days if not weeks, so a reappraisal is clearly necessary.

For the non-journos out there, a redesign works like this:

Trade rags exist on ad revenue. Weakly and Computing battle it out each week in a nasty polywrapped war on doormats across the UK on the basis of classified job ads. Whenever the highly-trained salesforce of one of these earnest publications run out of excuses for not selling enough space, the publisher calls for a redesign.

The idea is that changing from nine point Times Roman to ten point Clarendon and making all headlines lower case magically makes stories about helicopter crashes, IR35 and EDS' latest government computing cock-up somehow less dull, if not exactly exciting.

The advertisers will obviously flock back in droves, simply gagging to be part of the exciting new publishing venture, until the rival publication makes a radically-similar move a few months down the track.

That Computing redesign in full:
News reduced to 2-3 pages (no change there, then)
Smaller, glossy paper
Features to be dropped totally
Rest of paper to be sectionalised news
Name changed to Information Week

But there is another alternative.

Wacky Dutch funsters VNU, publishers of Computing, have only recently inherited a whole bunch of titles (and a handful of capable hacks) from Ziff Davis, as the US publisher pulls out of Europe to concentrate on leveraging its core competencies (whatever the Hell they are.)

Amongst the former crown jewels of Ziff Europe is the worthy and not half bad IT Week. It is produced on glossy paper, it already has a small news section and sectionalised features. It also already has 'Week' in its name.

So why not close the altzheimer-ridden Computing and go with the more viable IT Week?

But hey, what do we know about publishing? Word on the street is that more or less the opposite will happen, maybe with IT Week tumbling downmarket into the Godforsaken SME sector, an area where magazines are sent to die... ®

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