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PC market downturn scares publisher

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Future Publishing has pulled the plug on the magazine it planned to launch in competition with Computeractive, the consumer/hobbyist title from Dutch publisher VNU.

Future was less than a month away from going live with the title, which was planned to have more of an Internet focus than Computeractive.

The Computeractive clone was to have been called Connect. It had the codename Project Enigma, and had also been referred to as Click It.

Connect's ad manager, Alan Davies, said the 11th hour decision to suspend the title had been made because of the current "climate in the Internet and PC market". He also said the magazine was "very similar to Computeractive".

To staff the magazine Future raided rival VNU and took on Computeractive's second in command, Dylan Armbrust, as editor. He joined in July and three others from the VNU magazine's editorial team followed him.

All members of Connect's editorial team are having meetings with Future's HR department today to see if they can be found jobs elsewhere in the company.

Perhaps Future got cold feet when it found out details about Computeractive's death list. The title is popular amongst silver surfers, but the downside of this is that the circulation department has to strike a few of them off the subscription list when they pop their clogs.

On the bright side, this will probably mean there will be some decent consumer IT journalists available to help VNU out - as it is a little short of staff and talent on some of its mags. The company would have to be very spiteful or stupid not to take advantage of this situation and welcome back some former employees. We suspect it might be spiteful and stupid. ®

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