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PC Direct sticks two fingers up at former employer

Sacked staff none-too-plussed with VNU

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Staff at computer magazine PC Direct have had the last laugh at Dutch publisher VNU in its last issue. Staff were unhappy to hear the company had decided to shut the mag and sack all the staff, just weeks after it had pulled in a new team and revamped the title.

However, in what some staff claim is proof that the publisher knows nothing about publishing and everything about numbers and pie charts, the powers-that-be failed to check the last issue for possible signs of disgruntlement.

Hence the September issue features a strong criticism of VNU's actions. Editor Paul Hales writes: "I may question the wisdom of the decision to bring me here in the first place, to hire a brilliant editorial team... to relaunch an old and well-established title in order to simply close it down some weeks later."

He continues: "If I'd been here longer than it takes a hummingbird to climax, I'd have a big long list of people to thank. But I haven't." He then goes on to state the reasons VNU has given him as to why the mag had been shut down, including his own "that kept the shareholders happy".

But that's not all. On the front page, the Handera 330 is described as "the perfect handjob" and the contents page does not always point to right contents.

It is on the letters page, however, that the staff let rip. In response to the star letter, the response reads: "At least PC Direct is here to weed out the cowboys and point you towards the best deals around. Oh, but we've been shafted too. Is there some conspiracy going on here? Does good honest journalism count for nothing any more? Should we have kept doing deals with suppliers to keep them advertising? Should we have taken up the share offers that came our way?"

In response to other letters, readers are advised to go and buy rival product Computer Buyer, and continued references are made to the mag's closing, including the suggestion that a previous award winner may have trouble getting hold of the prize.

Oh dear. ®

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