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Jason Fell

Republican Congressman Proposes Fining Sites That Allow Anonymous Comments

Jason Fell emedia and Technology - 03/13/2008-17:01 PM

Kentucky Rep. Tim Couch (R-Hyden) has proposed a bill that would require people who contribute comments or other user-generated content to Web sites to register their real name, address and e-mail address with the host site. If passed, Web sites that violate the requirement would be fined $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

Apparently, Couch proposed the bill to call attention to what he says are unkind and often untrue comments about people being posted online by anonymous Kentuckians—specifically high school kids in his district who badmouth each other online.

While this may seem ridiculous on the surface, it raises a good question. How much responsibility does a Web site operator or media company have in regards to monitoring its user-generated content?

As someone pointed out Wednesday at McGraw-Hill’s Media Summit, magazines don’t hire anonymous reporters to write their stories, so why should they allow anonymous people to post content to their Web sites?

What do you think? Weigh in by leaving a comment below. (And, yes, anonymous posts are OK with us!)

Jason Fell

Steve Weitzner: 'Ziff Davis Enterprise' Not 'Ziff Davis Media'

Jason Fell B2B - 03/06/2008-16:26 PM

Last June, after Ziff Davis Media sold its Enterprise Group to private-equity firm Insight Venture Partners for $150 million, I couldn’t understand why the new company—called Ziff Davis Enterprise—took a name so similar to its former parent.

It’s confusing—and not only to me.

Yesterday, following Ziff Davis Media's announcement that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Ziff Davis Enterprise CEO Steve Weitzner posted a note on the ZDE Web site reminding everyone that Ziff Davis Enterprise is not Ziff Davis:


I joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in January because I saw an unprecedented opportunity to serve technology buyers and sellers in this market. After two months on the job I couldn't be happier with my decision.

However, I'm aware of the potential confusion that some recent media industry news might be causing about Ziff Davis Enterprise. So let me set the record straight:

1. Ziff Davis Enterprise and Ziff Davis Media are not the same company. Ziff Davis Enterprise is an entirely separate entity. We were acquired in July 2007 by Insight Venture Partners, a leading venture firm with an extensive portfolio of internet enablement companies.

2. We are well-funded and continually investing in infrastructure and innovation that best serves our customers. Thanks to our parent, Insight Venture Partners, we have significant investment capital at our disposal.

3. We are B2B technology's trusted information and marketing resource.

The unique combination of our relevant, objective content, contextual marketing and audience development expertise accelerates the technology buying process - for buyers and sellers - by delivering the right message at the right time to the right audience. I am extremely excited about our opportunity for success in this ever changing market and look forward to a rewarding relationship with our audience and the marketing community.

Best regards,


Jason Fell

CMP: The Official Announcement

Jason Fell B2B - 02/29/2008-18:31 PM

FOLIO: reported today United Business Media's decision to split CMP Technology into four “integrated media companies” in order to “better align CMP’s products with its customers.” In addition, UBM named four CEOs for the respective companies, and dropped the name CMP altogether.

Some FOLIO: commenters have called the restructuring a “non-announcement,” claiming that nothing has really changed.

What do you think?

Here's the press release in its entirety:

United Business Media Transforms CMP into Four Independent Media and Information Services Businesses

News Release Issued: February 29, 2008 3:00 AM EST

United Business Media Transforms CMP into Four Independent Media and
Information Services Businesses

New market-focused agile businesses to leverage UBM global resources and infrastructure

LONDON, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- United Business Media plc (UBM) today announced that it will restructure CMP Technology (CMP) into four new, market-focused businesses. As agile, independent organizations, each new business will be well positioned to meet the changing needs of the professional communities and technology markets it serves. The creation of these market-focused businesses is the next step in CMP's strategic transformation into a next generation media company.

In the last three years, CMP has significantly rebalanced its businesses, investing in the development of new products and services (including bMighty, Designlines, eXalt, InternetEvolution, MTC, myGDC, Teardown TV and TechWeb Performance Marketing) and its expansion in international markets. UBM has supported CMP's evolution with the investment of over $225 million in eighteen acquisitions, particularly events and business information products.

UBM's 2007 results, released today, demonstrate the development of CMP's businesses from largely print publishers (75% of revenues in 2004) into integrated media businesses that offer their customers a full suite of marketing solutions, including events, online and print products, as well as data-based workflow tools and services. In 2007, CMP generated 34.2% of its revenues from events, 20.2% from online products, 7.3% from workflow tools and business information services, and 38.3% from print products. The proportion of revenues contributed by events and services will rise in 2008 as result of the recent acquisition of Semiconductor Insights, Think Service Inc. and Vision Events. In 2007, CMP profits rose 30% to $50.1 million, with margins reaching 15.6%, the company's highest margins for five years.

The four new businesses and their respective Chief Executive Officers are noted below; each CEO will report to UBM Chief Executive, David Levin:

TechWeb, formerly CMP's Business Technology Group, will be led by Chief Executive Officer, Tony Uphoff. TechWeb, the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative new business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market.

Today, more than 10 million business technology professionals actively engage with and rely on its global face-to-face events: Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and VoiceCon; online resources: The TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise,, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet and MSDN Magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services ranging from next-generation performance marketing, custom media, research and analyst services. 2007 proforma revenues for TechWeb were $148 million. For more information, visit

Everything Channel, formerly CMP Channel, will be led by Chief Executive Officer, Robert Faletra. Everything Channel is the global leader in Channel execution and the one stop shop for the indirect sales channel that drives 75 percent of technology sales throughout the world. High-tech suppliers and Solution Providers turn to Everything Channel to manage and accelerate their business, using its comprehensive portfolio of channel solutions which include the ChannelWeb online network, magazines (CRN and VARBusiness), events (XChange and Vision), workflow tools (MTC and eXalt), tele-recruiting, sales support, marketing services, research and education (IPED). 2007 proforma revenues for Everything Channel were $73 million. For more information, visit and

TechInsights, formerly CMP's Electronics Group, will be led by Chief Executive Officer, Paul Miller. TechInsights is the daily source of essential business and technical information for the electronics industry's decision makers -- the Creators of Technology -- who define, develop, and bring to market the electronic products that improve our lives. TechInsights uses that unique and privileged access to connect its customers to these decision makers at the right time and at the best ROI. With global market leading brands such as EE Times, Semiconductor Insights, TechOnline, Embedded Systems Conferences and Portelligent, TechInsights is the leading dedicated information and services business serving the global electronics market. 2007 proforma revenues for TechInsights were $83 million. For more information, visit

Think Services, formerly CMP's Game, Dr. Dobb's and International Customer Management Group, will be led by Chief Executive Officer, Philip Chapnick. Think Services connects specialized communities via interactive media, educational events, consulting, training and certification. The business' flagship products include the Game Developers Conference, the Webby Award- winning, the International Customer Management Institute, the Help Desk Institute and Dr. Dobb's Journal. 2007 proforma revenues for Think Services were $61 million. For more information, visit

Each business will have the freedom to develop business models, audience development initiatives and international programs that best fit its specific marketplace while also taking advantage of UBM's global footprint to support its international expansion.

The new businesses will share support functions and infrastructure, including finance, IT services, legal and global account and sales management. The central functions will become part of UBM's US infrastructure with Scott Mozarsky, currently CMP's Chief Financial Officer, taking the role of Chief Operating Officer. Scott will also serve on the Board of each business.

David Levin said:

"This is the next step in the strategic evolution of how we serve our technology market customers -- and we're doing it from a position of strength.

"As our strong and improving results for 2007 show, each of the operations within CMP has been successfully serving its specific markets, but going forward, as independent and focused businesses, they will be able to get even closer to their audiences and customers, developing products and services for these communities faster and with focus.

"At the same time, each business can take advantage of being part of UBM, a $2.5 billion corporation with a global infrastructure to support international expansion of their leading brands and content and a demonstrated track record of acquisitions and investment in new products."

About United Business Media Plc

United Business Media Plc is a leading global business media company. We inform markets and bring the world's buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print, and with the information they need to do business successfully. We focus on serving professional commercial communities, from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewellery traders, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. Our 5,000 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve these communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.

For more information, go to


Jason Fell

CMP Said to Name CEO This Week

Jason Fell B2B - 02/26/2008-12:32 PM

Nearly two months without a day-to-day CEO, CMP may be ready to announce a successor to Steve Weitzner, who was moved from CEO to chairman earlier this year and left the company for rival publisher Ziff Davis Enterprise shortly after. I have heard from multiple sources that the announcement could come before the end of the week.

Although no one’s talking, a logical choice candidate would be Tony Uphoff, CMP’s Business Technology Group president. Uphoff is a 20-plus-year industry veteran and is no rookie to the CMP brand. In the 1990s he served as BTG president and group publisher, and was publisher of InformationWeek. Last year, he rejoined CMP from Nielsen Business Media, where he was publisher of The Hollywood Reporter and president of the Film & Performing Arts Group.

Whether or not Uphoff gets the nod—or is the only hire—remains to be seen.

Oh, and don’t be surprised if a restructuring happens shortly after the announcement.


Jason Fell

Ex-Time Out Editor's Web Venture Unveiled

Jason Fell emedia and Technology - 02/25/2008-12:54 PM

Former Time Out New York editor Brian Farnham has been tight-lipped about the Internet start-up company he left the magazine late last month to help launch. Today, though, I received this e-mail from Farnham via LinkedIn. His company is an online news information site called Polar News. And apparently, they’re hiring.

The new position—a production manager—is an interesting one. It seems to combine editorial, marketing and circulation responsibilities.

Interested? See the e-mail below.

On Behalf Of Brian Farnham
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 12:18 PM
To: Jason Fell
Subject: We're hiring!

If you have a moment, I'd appreciate your help. Please take a look and forward this job on to anyone you think would be interested in the position, or anyone else who could help me find a great candidate.

Thanks for your help!

Company: Polar News
Job Title: Product Manager
Description: If you...
-- Get Web 2.0
-- Want to work in a flexible entrepreneurial environment
-- Understand the term “hyperlocal” and its potential
-- Love building businesses from the ground up

…then this may be a job for you:

A well-funded startup backed by Internet Pioneers You’ve Heard Of is looking for a Product Manager.

This person will OWN a specific vertical in a new online news and information site—conception, development, execution, reporting, and measurement.

The PM will report to the Vice President and work closely with all other departments—content, engineering, marketing, etc.

Major Responsibilities:

-- Build and manage a product roadmap
-- Innovate, develop and execute strategies
-- Define user requirements for new features, incorporating cross-functional input, research, usability studies and competitive analyses.
-- Define and implement feedback and reporting requirements for all products to ensure that they can be optimized based on quantitative and qualitative data.
-- Work closely with the engineering team on technical implementations
-- Work cross functionally and take a hands-on role when needed (Editorial, Design, Marketing and Engineering.)
-- Identify business development opportunities and initiate meetings and potential deals
-- Drive projects from birth to adulthood

Experience / Skills / Profile:

* BA/BS required, ideally in a business, marketing, or computer science/engineering related field.
* At least one year of product management experience with strong social networking and Web 2.0 knowledge.
* Proficiency in HTML and Photoshop are a plus.
* Strong technical background (e.g., web standards, design and usability, and common web and application architectures).
* Excellent organizational skills including ability to build effective working relationships.
* Proven track record of setting aggressive goals and meeting them, with a style characterized by personal motivation, organizational skills and communications effectiveness.
* Knowledgeable across multiple functional areas – Product Management, Engineering, UI, Sales.
* Juggle multiple tasks and projects simultaneously in a deadline-oriented environment.
* Strong aptitude for determining the optimal way to position products in the market.
* Experience managing budgets and demonstrating ROI..
* Experience in online news, media, services preferred.

Competitive compensation package including base salary, full benefits, performance and start-up based incentives.

Jason Fell

Print No Longer ‘Heart and Soul’ of Magazine Brands

Jason Fell FPS 2008 - 02/21/2008-13:40 PM

Here's an idea that has been kicked around ad nauseum (see: "Magabrands," Dave Zinczenko et al) but perhaps never expressed so bluntly. According to Computerworld and Infoworld editorial director Don Tenant, the print magazine no longer should be the “heart and soul” of a brand. Instead, as his team did at IDG, publishers should think of their brand as an online media company with ancillary print and event products.

“Advertising is shifting from print to online in droves. So, what do you do?” Tenant said this morning during a session at the FOLIO: Publishing Summit. “Content should be going online first. Our strategy is to think of print as being a compilation of the content online.”

Like a growing number of companies, Tenant’s group merged its print and online editorial teams four months ago. On the surface, at least, this seems to be an easy, efficient content management strategy.

“I can’t tell you how much this was a morale boost for everyone,” he said. “We should have had a plan in place all along to unite the two teams.”

Jason Fell

Job Cuts Coming at Reed Elsevier?

Jason Fell B2B - 02/19/2008-17:03 PM

A quick e-mail exchange I had today with Reed Business Information’s vice president of corporate communications regarding a report in the England's Telegraph newspaper on 1,000 impending job cuts at the parent company:

From: Jason Fell []
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 9:58 AM
Subject: FOLIO: Story
Importance: High
Good morning Salina. I hope you had a nice weekend.

I read this story this morning about Reed Elsevier planning to cut 1,000 jobs. (

I’m curious: How will this impact Reed’s North American magazine business?

Please get back to me at your earliest convenience as I am working on a strict deadline.


Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 10:18 AM
To: Jason Fell
Subject: RE: FOLIO: Story

Hi Jason,

We can offer no further comments until Reed Elsevier's annual results are announced on Thursday (February 21).


Jason Fell

How SI’s Swimsuit Issue Sells

Jason Fell Audience Development - 02/12/2008-17:48 PM

It’s that time of year again—for sports fans, the dark and gloomy vortex between the Super Bowl and March Madness. For Sports Illustrated, it’s Christmas: the swimsuit issue, the magazine’s annual predictably overhyped—and just as predictably, controversial—run through the media machinery.

In terms of advertising, marketing and newsstand sales, the swimsuit issue is the Super Bowl for Sports Illustrated. This year’s issue, with Marisa Miller on the cover, hit store shelves today, and—eschewing some level of corporate synergy—will get its official debut tonight on the David Letterman show. Why not, say, CNN’s American Morning? “It was logistical,” an SI spokesperson says, noting that SI’s ad party is taking place tonight in New York City, and that the guest list is over 1,000 strong.

Here’s a quick look at how SI’s Swimsuit Issue has fared on newsstands over the last five years:

2007 Feb. 16 1,060,000 87,043* 109.95 Beyoncé
2006 Feb. 17 1,152,275 86,173 111.00 "All-Star" Cover
2005 Feb. 18 1,083,827 85,548 106.87 Carolyn Murphy
2004 Feb. 13 1,563,694 100,941 112.50 Veronica Varekova
2003 Feb. 25 1,216,495 100,626 113.00 Petra Nemcova

* First half average.


Jason Fell

Christian Groups Slam Boston Mag Ad

Jason Fell City and Regionals - 02/04/2008-17:21 PM

As reeling Boston sports fans look for someone—anyone—to blame for the Patriots’ upset loss to the New York Giants in yesterday’s Super Bowl, Boston area Christian groups are pointing their fingers at Boston magazine over what they say is a controversial ad in the February issue.

The ad, for the Equinox Fitness Club, depicts a group of women dressed as nuns in habit sketching a buff naked man. The ad was designed, in part, by edgy advertising agency Fallon Worldwide as part of its “Happily Ever” campaign which the agency says asks: “What is your Happily Ever? What are you striving for in fitness? In life? What’s the fairy-tale end game to all your hard work?” The campaign has also run in a number of national magazines including Vanity Fair, Vogue and Esquire.

“This patently stupid ad that Equinox is floating suggests that it must hype its edgy image in order to compete,” Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights president Bill Donohue wrote on the group's Web site. “That’s too bad—apparently their targeted demographic group isn’t lured by the prospect of more barbells and fruit bars. Hence, the need to rip off Catholic imagery in a sophomoric soft-porn ad.”

Sophomoric? Maybe. I’m not sure how this installment of the “Happily Ever” campaign really helps sell gym memberships. Soft porn? The ad is certainly edgy (it has caused a bit of a stir, hasn’t it?), but I’m not sure that it really crosses any lines.

David H. Lipson Jr., president of Metrocorp (Boston magazine’s parent company) did not return an e-mail seeking comment. A Fallon Worldwide spokesperson declined to comment about the controversy.

What do you think?

NOTE: Please leave your comments in the comments section below.

Jason Fell

Men's Journal Ad Reps Swim with Sharks

Jason Fell Sales and Marketing - 01/25/2008-12:34 PM

Here’s to taking customer satisfaction to the extreme.

Each year, the Men’s Journal advertising staff participates in what it calls the “Dare Your Rep” campaign, an initiative to help engage their clients and to promote the magazine’s May “Adventure” issue. So what awaited the magazine’s eager sales staff this year?

Firewalking? No. Winter surfing off Montauk? Nah. Taking more than 40 percent of clients’ votes was swimming with sharks. Of course.

So, last week, 15 advertising reps donned wetsuits, hopped into a tank at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, and got up-close-and personal with several varieties of sharks. Even publisher Will Schenck got in the tank.

Swimming with sharks is apparently just another notch on the belt for the Men’s Journal ad staff. Last year they ate from a menu of tasty delectables such as honey-glazed spiced tarantulas, herbed cream cheese with glazed scorpion, filo dough pastry cups with prickly pear cactus jelly and roasted ants.

Anything for a sale.

Jason Fell

Want Page Views? Post a Story on Abortion Rights

Jason Fell Editorial - 01/17/2008-10:48 AM

Who knew FOLIO:’s Web site would become a forum for debating abortion rights issues?

Since posting this story Monday ("Pro-Life Groups Outraged Over Vogue Photo Spread") about how a photoshoot for a Vogue column on partial-birth abortions has angered religious and pro-life groups—who say it makes the controversial procedure appear fashionable—thousands of people have stopped by to read it, and many have posted passionate comments rationalizing all sides of the issue.

Our story was even picked up by Page Six today, which may or may not be a first for FOLIO:.

Note, we weren't looking for page views, necessarily, but we got them.

Jason Fell

Cygnus Employees Respond to ‘Bonuses’

Jason Fell B2B - 01/04/2008-16:04 PM

This week, FOLIO: reported that Cygnus co-CEOs Carr Davis and Tony O'Brien plan to restore of some salaries that were slashed by 7.5 percent by means of a "bonus" to be paid mid-January. The bonus, they say, represents about 70 percent of the initial reduction absorbed by many employees in October. However, only salaried employees who do not receive commission, incentive payments or other bonuses will be eligible for this "restoration."

Based on the comments we've received since posting the story, there seems to be a discrepancy between the Cygnus executive team and the effected employees about how many people will in fact benefit from this initiative. When asked exactly how many employees will benefit from the "bonus restoration," Cygnus spokesperson Kathy Scott couldn't provide an exact number, but claimed it to be a "huge percentage."

It appears some Cygnus employees disagree. See their comments here.