Power Off: 'PC' Magazine Folds

PC MagazineZiff Davis Media said Wednesday that it is closing PC Magazine after the January issue, converting the brand to a digital publication. The closing, which will result in seven layoffs, marks the third print title to close this week, as consumer magazines suffer an accelerating implosion. 

In a way, it's amazing that PC Magazine survived this long.

The computing category was--even before business and shelter titles-- one of the first to be hit with prolonged declines in ad pages and revenue. PC's troubles began earlier this decade, when the economy was still in good shape--with a 19.3% drop in ad pages between 2004 and 2005, falling from about 2,000 to 1,612, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

In 2006, the magazine fell an additional 6.2% to 1,512, followed by a catastrophic 32.4% drop in 2007 to 1,023. In the first six months of 2008, its ad pages plummeted 35.8% to 330.



Earlier this year, the pioneering computer publication, founded in 1981, cut its rate base from 700,000 to 600,000--and was also forced to cut its frequency in half, to just 12 issues a year.

Subscribers to the print edition can opt to receive the digital edition, already available since 2002. Ziff Davis touted the digital edition's features--like email delivery, interactivity with rich media, including video and slide shows, searchability and a live table of contents that takes you directly to the articles.

PC is the third magazine to close this week, following Play, The New York Times sports magazine, and Time Inc.'s Cottage Living, a niche shelter title.

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