Ziff, IDG combine Mac mags

A new joint venture will consolidate the Macintosh publications of IDG and Ziff-Davis: Macworld, MacWeek, and MacUser.

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A new joint venture will consolidate the Macintosh publications of technology publishing giants
Ziff-Davis and International Data Group (IDG).

The combined workforce of Macworld, MacWeek, and MacUser currently numbers about 200, but some layoffs are likely, said Colin Crawford--the president and CEO of the new venture, Mac Publishing.

"It is our intention to employ the whole staff," Crawford said. "But there will be some consolidation. We will try our best to find everyone jobs in ZD or IDG."

He added that the staffing situation will be determined over the next 30 days.

Mac Publishing will be a 50-50 joint venture and will combine all Mac assets from both publishing houses, Crawford said. The venture will consolidate the Mac offerings into one weekly magazine, MacWeek; a single monthly magazine, Macworld, will incorporate the MacUser publication.

Consolidation in the Mac arena has occurred over the past couple of years, and the market's advertising revenue is not large enough to support a number of publications, Crawford said. He said a consolidation in readership has been underway as well.

He expects MacWeek to continue to attract 100,000 readers weekly, while Macworld which currently has a circulation of about 625,000 and MacUser, which has about 525,000 readers, will have a combined readership of about 800,000.

The last issue of MacUser will be published in October, and Macworld will include the additional content from MacUser beginning in November.

Crawford currently is president and CEO of Macworld Communications; he will sit on the board of directors of the new company. The board will be comprised of Ziff-Davis and IDG executives. Ziff is a Softbank company

IDG will continue to publish its international editions of Macworld. Licensees of the Macworld, MacWeek, and MacUser brands will move their business relationships from IDG and Ziff-Davis to the new joint venture.

A source from Ziff-Davis Television said this is the first joint operating agreement between the two competitors.

But consolidation is not new in the technology publication arena. In June, CMP Media pulled the plug on print publication NetGuide magazine; most of its editorial staff was combined with the staff of Windows magazine.