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PC Magazine Shuts Down Print After 10 Years

If you saw the different magazine titles that stack up outside of my office door you might think I am either very well read, have ADD or an identity crisis.  Actually, it's a little bit of all of those things.

My only regret is that I don't have more time to read more titles in more related arenas.  Since I'm CEO of a telephony/telecom company - T&S Software - as well as an Internet hair, beauty, fashion site - - I alternate between reading about technology and business with hair, beauty, fashion and health.  Of course I also try to stay up on my special interests such as Feng Shui, astrology and travel.

Interlaced with the Vogue, Glamour, Lucky, Cosmopolitan and Star Magazines are PC Magazines.  There's a huge stack of them in one of my many libraries (yes, I said many).  I have been a fan of PC Magazine since it first hit the stands.

Sadly, it was announced this week that the honorable techie title has folded under the current economic challenges and will be going totally digital.  Which is bad news for me. 

While I make time to flip through my stacks of magazines every week, I don't always get to as many digital sites as I would like.  It's virtually impossible.  If I tried to visit all the digital sites that I wanted I would never get any of my work done.

I have nothing but the best wishes for PC Magazine since I have such fond memories of stealing away and reading about all the latest hot tech related products and toys.  However, I am sad that they are leaving the racks.

PC Mag owner Ziff Davis which used to be huge in their tech arena recently exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is left with just one print magazine, EGM, in the gaming industry.  EGM is up for sale.

I remember when PC Magazine launched in 1982 and averaged anywhere from 400 pages per issue or more.  In some cases it went as high as 600.

Where was I in 1982?  I was still living in my hometown of St. Louis working for Blue Cross & Blue Shield in the then MIS - now IT - division as a Project Manager.  Blue Cross had a few PCs but mostly we all worked on terminals connected to massive mainframes, which now would be considered puny by today's standards.

My then future husband (Michael Thayer) was writing software for those brand new PCs having previously written apps for those hot new Apples (TRS80s).  In fact, I still have one of those original Apples (his first) sitting in one of my various libraries (I have eight now).

I'm not sure I still have PC Magazines left from 1982 although I do remember reading them after Michael finished and discussing with him the brave new technology world that was opening up.

By 1984 I was in Dallas where Michael and I had moved after our marriage and we both had jobs in the technology fields working for companies in the PC arena.  He was working for a well-known International software company and I for Computer Language Research (CLR).  There were always PC Magazines floating around our home and our offices.

Both of our bosses read PC Magazine and many of our co-workers.  It was truly a revolutionary magazine for a revolutionary technology world.  Yes, we were both nerds but what can I say?  It was a marriage made in technoland.

Having lived through both the Internet crash and telephony/telecom crashes of the late 90s, I became hardened by the experience.  I am not really at all surprised by the current print media downturns.  After watching the bubbles burst in telephony and on the Web, I have become much more aware of the signs.  In fact, I have given it my own little code word which my team members know as Karen's "The Pink Fish" theory.

Will more honorable print titles fold over the next year or so?  I have no doubt.  Does it mean all of us in the publishing world need to head for the nearest roofs?  Luckily not.

It does mean that we need to step back and reflect on what it means for the Internet as traditional print titles abandon the racks for the digital world. Afterall, we all know what happens when everyone runs to one side of a sinking ship.

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