Penton Media has announced the Chief Marketer Network, a site that will pool edit content from its marketing titles—Direct, Promo, Multichannel Merchant and Chief Marketer. Leslie Bacon will serve as group publisher of the network.

While the individual magazines and their companion Web sites will remain, the Chief Marketer site will serve as an umbrella for the group. All editors will contribute to “The Big Fat Marketing Blog,” which runs across the network.

“The individual brands stand alone for those companies that want to reach that particular target audience,” Bacon told FOLIO:. “We do have advertisers that want to reach multiple markets that we serve. Now we can more easily provide them with a cross market/website/network buy due to the synergies across the four Web sites. Although each site has unique content, the online products have been standardized (where appropriate) to make it easier for the advertiser to add reach/audience to their program.”

The Penton marketing titles have been recast before. In 2006, as part of Prism Business Media, Promo, Direct, Multichannel Merchant and Chief Marketer were put in a group called Prism Marketing Media Strategies, led by editorial director Ray Schultz.

According to American Business Media’s Business Information Network, the Business, Advertising & Marketing category is down about a quarter of a percent to $537.7 million in ad revenue for the first nine months of 2008, which actually compares relatively favorably to other b-to-b categories such as automotive, which plunged 14.7 percent to $350.9 million in the same period.