The last of the big general-interest PC magazines is no longer a magazine
The news isn’t shocking. In fact, it’s sort of a shock it didn’t happen several years ago. After slightly more than thirty years in print, PCWorld magazine is ceasing publication, effective with the current issue, to focus on its website and digital editions.
If I have to explain why, you haven’t been paying attention to the media business for the past decade or so. The web has been awfully hard on magazines, and no category has suffered more than computer publications. Both readers and advertisers have largely moved online. Many of them did so years ago — especially the sort of tech-savvy people who once read PC magazines. At the end, PCWorld was about a quarter the size it once was in terms of pages and had lost two-thirds of its readership. I don’t even want to think about what had happened to its profits.
I spent thirteen and a half years writing and editing for PCWorld, from 1994-2008, as an employee of its publisher, IDG. (It was called PC World back in my day, and I still wince slightly every time I type the name without a space.) So you might think I’d consider the news of the magazine’s end to be something akin to a death in the family.