RBI sells Computer Weekly and title goes online only

Reed Business Information is to sell off its 45-year-old Computer Weekly title and associated events to IT publisher TechTarget, which will take the magazine online only.

The sale of Computer Weekly will be completed by the end of April when the print edition of the magazine will cease to exist, as will the print edition of sister title MicroScope – which is also being sold to TechTarget.

TechTarget said today that ComputerWeekly.com receives an average of 425,000 visits and one million page views each month. It has an associated email database of more than 165,000 subscribers, 42 per cent of which are senior level IT managers.

‘The change in ownership to TechTarget represents the latest stage of an ongoing evolution of Computer Weekly, which has made aggressive investments in its online capabilities as its core audience has shifted its information consumption habits to the web,’said a statement from TechTarget.

‘TechTarget will accelerate these investments by devoting all staff and future efforts towards the websites and events offerings.

‘The print versions of both Computer Weekly and MicroScope will be discontinued when the deal concludes at the end of April.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but TechTarget said its two new websites would complement its established offerings in the sector by giving advertisers new and easier ways to reach the key UK and European IT decision makers.

Revenue at Reed Business Information dropped 20 per cent last year as a result of the closure and sell-off of scores of business magazines, its parent company said last month.

Reporting full-year results, Reed Elsevier said that RBI, which generates six per cent of its overall adjusted operating profits, drew revenue of £718m last year, down from £891m made in the previous 12 months.

Reed Elsevier said that over the last year it had sought to reshape RBI’s portfolio by significantly reducing costs and channelling investment into successful data services.

Reed revealed in February last year that profits at RBI, which includes UK magazine brands such as Farmers Weekly, New Scientist and Flight International, slumped by more than a third in 2009 to £89m.

In July 2009, RBI UK sold its travel portfolio – including Travel Weekly magazine – to the entrepreneur behind Holiday Autos, Clive Jacobs. And in November that year it closed the 130 year-old weekly magazine for the UK construction industry, Contract Journal.

Reed Elsevier then stepped up the disposal of RBI titles across the globe following the appointment of Erik Engstrom as chief executive later that year.

In January last year, RBI sold its UK Cosmetics News Weekly title to rival Communications International Group for an undisclosed sum.

Reed then offloaded dozens of magazines from RBI’s US operation in April.

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