Ziff Davis Enterprise has launched a new strategy called OmniDigital that will take the company all-digital with emphasis in four keys areas–traditional websites, mobile websites, tablets and digital editions. The company will convert its remaining three magazines–Baseline, CIO Insight and eWeek–to digital editions starting in January.
As digital editions, Baseline and CIO Insight will double their frequency to monthly, while eWeek will go biweekly (up from 19 issues per year in print). Next month, the brands will launch a series of optimized sites and native apps for a variety of smartphone and tablet including iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7 and Symbian/Nokia-powered smart phones, as well as iPad, RIM Playbook and Android-powered tablets.
"As an ex-editor, I haven’t enjoyed it much, but what we’ve been doing for the last few years is cut the frequency and cut the reach of print due to rising postal costs and rising paper costs while the ad base has done nothing but go down," Ziff Davis Enterprise CEO Steve Weitzner tells FOLIO:. "It got to the point where we ran print issues mostly for getting net new names, but not as a business. Meanwhile you watch the rise of all-digital platforms and see the usage in the general populace but especially with our IT audience. In that world, the IT guy needs to be looking at every smartphone and every tablet, because that’s where the user is going."
Ziff Davis Enterprise will work with Texterity on the digital editions. "At the outset, these will be very magazine-like, but the plan is to take the technology and move in a direction that’s specifically digital," says Weitzner. "It will still be like a magazine in that it’s editorial content-our edit calendar is available for all those brands today for 2012.
No lay-offs are associated with the move and Weitzner says it’s not driven by cost-savings. "People hear print and say, ‘Oh, you’re not going to publish eWeek but we are going to publish eWeek," he adds. "We will publish it in the same way–it will go through the same editorial process, the stories will get vetted, they’ll be laid out by art, we just won’t print it or mail it. We’re going to invest that savings in content. We’ll be able to add editors for the first time in a while-we’ve been adding but we’ll be able to make a substantial investment in content-we’ll have more vehicles, so we’ll need it."
In going all-digital, Ziff Davis Enterprise follows the example of its former parent company Ziff Davis Media, which stopped publishing print magazines in 2009.