In a move to grow its Technology Group, Penton Media has acquired Nine Lives Media. Nine Lives, launched in 2008 by CEO Amy Katz and executive VP/editorial director Joe Panettieri, serves the IT market through a series of three web channels: MSPmentor, a platform which focuses on managed services; Talkin’ Cloud, a cloud-reporting blog with video capability; and The VAR Guy, a blog serving the value-added reseller and IT service provider sector.

Katz says Nine Lives is built as a tradional marketing company, with revenue generated through advertising and sponsorship, "We do online events and custom programs for our clients, whether it be custom editorial or consulting." All editorial and webcasts are free for channel users.

Nine Lives will be integrated into Penton’s Technology Group, which includes Windows IT Pro, SQL Server Magazine, SharePoint Pro, DevPro, Cloud IT Pro, Mobile DevPro, Connected Planet and System iNetwork. Katz and Panettieri will also be joining Penton as staff, along with the other 13 Nine Lives team members.

The Nine Lives staff will continue to work from their current remote locations, including New York, Massachusetts and California.

Peg Miller, market leader with Penton’s technology division, says of the acquisition, "We’re seeing a strong appetite in the IT channel for the marketing services we developed earlier this year, and it felt like the right time to team these companies to have a strong front-end play in the technology ecosystem."

Launched in January 2008, MSPmentor and The VAR Guy each currently generate about 100,000 page views monthly; Talkin’ Cloud, which debuted in December 2010, receives about 30-35,000 monthly page views.

Last week, Penton announced the folding of American Printer, which launched in 1883; as well as Paper, Film & Foil Converter’s (PFFC), which launched in 1927. Both magazines will stop publication after their August issues.

On the shuttering of PFFC, Penton SVP Warren Bimblick says, “The reality was we tried as hard as we could but if you’re trying to grow the company you have to look at marginal products and refine the portfolio. The virtue of Penton is that we are highly diversified but sometimes diversification with small brands that don’t have a growth profile is a bad thing."