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Byte makes a comeback

The magazine's domestic revival will be solely on the Web, though the print magazine will continue to be published abroad.

CMP is getting its Byte back.

After 23 years of publication, the veteran print magazine Byte folded in May, just weeks after CMP bought it from McGraw-Hill. CMP subsequently promised a fall relaunch.

Print magazines in the computer space have been feeling the squeeze as more and more computer-savvy readers turn to the Web for news and information and advertising dollars follow. Online publishing also is considerably cheaper than print.

To that end, Byte's domestic revival, scheduled for the first quarter of next year, will be solely on the Web. Foreign editions of the print magazine, privately published under licensing and content agreements with CMP, have continued throughout CMP's turmoil, and will continue to do so.

Other factors in the domestic Byte's online-only rebirth have to do with advantages Web publishing brings to computer-oriented editorial content.

"One of the huge advantages of the Web is that it adds a really strong sense of utility," said Tony Uphoff, vice president and group publisher for CMP's business technology group. "Our core readership consisted of technologists involved in applications development. The Web lets us provide research on given technologies, and lets users take a look at the execution of intricate applications.

Byte.com currently hosts archives from the print publication through its last June issue, and will continue to house those as well as future archives. In addition, it will offer columns and technical tutorials.

Byte magazine had a domestic circulation of 500,000; however, only about half that number were loyal readers, Uphoff said. Suspended domestic print subscriptions to Byte will be fulfilled with issues of other CMP titles.

The consumer-focused distribution strategy of the magazine was at odds with its highly tech-oriented readership. Uphoff noted, for example, that at one time the previous publishers sought paid subscriptions through Family Circle Publishing.

Byte is not the only print property CMP has regrouped recently. The company, which launched an initial public offering last year, ceased the publication of LANTimes this past October, and of NetGuide in July of last year. CMP also sold HomePC magazine to its current publisher, Imagine Media.