May 05 2008
Today's NYT has a piece by Steve Lohr on the occasion of IDG (publisher of InfoWorld, PCWorld, CIO, etc.) achieving the vaunted print/online revenue crossover.
"In 2002, 86 percent of the revenue from I.D.G.â€™s publications came from print and 14 percent online. These days, 52 percent of the revenue is from online ads, while 48 percent is from the print side."
I joined IDG for a brief period in 2005 to help with that transition, ultimately leaving at the end of the year to come to Lenovo. What I saw was a company in the throes of a difficult transition from decades of print excellence to the more ephemeral but pressing world of online news. Print and online dichotomies were tough, but in the end it was the red ink that pushed the print legacy to one side (InfoWorld went online only) and broke down the old artificial barriers between print and online editorial staffs.
Mike Friedenberg and Bob Carrigan were the two guys I worked most closely with, and both are prominently and deservedly called out in Lohr's piece.
While publishing is not the profit engine of Pat McGovern's empire (that honor falls to his venture capital operations), it is the flagship of the global brand, and seeing the transition occur, sooner than most traditional publishers, is a good sign for the future of a pretty beleaguered profession.