Nielsen Consolidates Adweek Group, Centralizes Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek

In another troubling sign for the Business Media division of media and marketing research giant Nielsen Co., the unit's Adweek Media Group Tuesday announced a major restructuring that consolidates many of the operations and some of the content of its Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek trade magazines and Web sites. It wasn't clear from the announcement how the move was impacted by the recent downturn in the economy, but the reorganization follows successive quarters of declining revenues for the group, which has become the laggard within a relatively healthy and dominant Nielsen Co.

"With this new strategy, the Adweek Media Group will eliminate some editorial positions and reassign editorial coverage responsibilities," read a house story published in Tuesday's editions of the publications' Web sites, which otherwise tried to put a positive spin on the changes, suggesting that the downsizing of its content team, and the consolidation of its resources would enable, "delivery of a broader and more diverse amount of content to their collective audiences."



One senior editorial staffer let go said there were "major personnel cuts," and speculation that the print titles might be consolidated, or that Brandweek and/or Mediaweek might reduce their circulation from genuine weeklies to something less. Last year, as part of a restructuring of the group's flagship Adweek brand, that publication's frequency was changed to 39 issues per year, leading some observers to quip that it had become "Adwhenever magazine."

The talk among departing staffers is that Nielsen may be tightening the books of the trade publications in preparation for selling what some might consider a "non-core" asset for the research company, and one that has been dragging on its results. Revenues for Nielsen's business media division declined 3% to $253 million during the first half of 2008, according to the company's earnings statement.

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