3.05.2008

CMP breaks up, Ziff Davis Media goes Chapter 11

It's ironic (but coincidental) that we're making the big shift in our staff to support our major launch of Systems Management News, only a few days after CMP Media broke up into four businesses, and the same week that Ziff Davis Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

On Friday, Feb. 29, United Business Media announced that it's "transforming CMP into four independent media and information services businesses."

As it says on the CMP home page:

Each of the four new businesses will be agile, innovative and highly engaged with the communities it serves.

TechWeb, formerly CMP's Business Technology Group, is the global leader in business technology media connecting more than 10 million technology buyers and sellers worldwide.

Everything Channel, formerly CMP Channel, is the global leader in Channel execution and the one stop shop for the indirect sales channel that drives 75 percent of technology sales throughout the world.

TechInsights, formerly CMP's Electronics Group, is a global media, professional services and marketing services business that serves decision makers in the electronics industry – the Creators of Technology.

Think Services, formerly CMP's Game, Dr. Dobb's and International Customer Management Group, connects specialized communities worldwide using innovative media, educational events, consulting, training and certification. www.think-services.com

Why is UBM doing this? It's hard to know exactly what this means. If you take them at their word, they're making the various business units more nimble by giving them more autonomy. However, the persistent speculative thread is that UBM is breaking CMP up into more attractive chunks for potential buyers.

Meanwhile, Ziff Davis Media decided to enter Chapter 11 to allow it to restructure (i.e., dump debt by shafting its investors and creditors). It's a shame to see the mighty PC Magazine's publishing company go bankrupt. For years, I competed against Ziff, most notably in the late 1980s when I worked for IDG. Under legendary founder Bill Ziff, the ZD brand was something terrifying. Today, after all the divestitures, mergers, acquisitions, reshuffling and who-knows-what, Ziff Davis is bankrupt.

Sad.

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.