As IT weeklies merge - Incisive warns rivals to change before it's too late

As Incisive Media’s first edition of its merger of technology weeklies IT Week and Computing comes out today, managing director Graham Harman has warned that other business titles will need to follow their example or be left behind.

Incisive merged the titles as part of a restructuring of its Business Technology Group. This included a reorganisation of editorial teams across the group, including online titles VNUnet and The Inquirer, according to ‘content specialism’rather than publication.

Harman claims they have had a positive response from staff, readers and advertisers about the changes, which include the print magazine offering more analysis leaving breaking news to the web.

‘We have seen the writing on the wall the way that the revenue models and the way that the information needs of our readers has changed, and we’ve decided that we need to do this now,’he said.

‘It’s not driven out of cost cuttings or cost savings, and I know a lot of publishers are under a lot of pressure at the moment. The danger is as we get further into the recession and we see downturns in revenues they’ll be pushed into this out of necessity and a lot of them won’t be ready for it because they won’t have thought about it, or be where we are in terms of the online offering.”

The new Computing website (incorporating IT Week) was relaunched on Monday this week, following a two-week beta test trial.

Harman said the relaunch of the website allowed them to ‘go back to basics’and examine the Business Technology Group’s online offering as a whole.

He said: ‘You have to look at the way people now source information, you can’t just stick to the old practices and say ‘that will do’. You have to say to yourself ‘If I was launching into this market now what would I do? What do they want now and how do I service them?'”

The reshuffling of the editorial department, although initially expected to result in up to five redundancies, only saw one voluntary redundancy.

The new look print magazine, merging Computing and IT Week content, has new fonts and a ‘cleaner’design with easier navigation and more links to the website.

Editor Bryan Glick writes in the first edition: ‘This marks an important milestone in the 35-year history of the UK’s leading business technology publication. We are bringing together the high-quality journalism that readers of the two publications have come to expect, to provide UK IT decision-makers with the information they need in the format they want to access it.”

Click here to check out the new Computing website

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