Last week ended with some very sad B2B marketing industry news — Reed Elsevier is shuttering 23 of its trade publishing titles, some of them among the best-known brands in the business.
Here is a link to the story:
Here is a list of the 23 publications closing down April 30:
1. Construction Equipment, 2. Graphic Arts Monthly, 3. Modern Materials Handling, 4. Plant Engineering, 5. Professional Builder, 6. Purchasing, 7. Restaurants & Institutions, 8. Tradeshow Week, 9. Building Design+Construction, 10. Chain Leader, 11. Construction Bulletin, 12. Consulting-Specifying Engineer, 13. Control Engineering, 14. Converting, 15. Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, 16. Graphic Arts Blue Book, 17. HOTELS, 18. Logistics Management, 19. Material Handling Product News, 20. Professional Remodeler, 21. Semiconductor International, 22. Spec Check, and 23. Supply Chain Management Review.
This news comes as a surprise because Reed had been able to sell some other significant titles in recent months, including Packaging Digest, Design News, Interior Design, and Publishers Weekly. The fact that the publisher has been shopping so many other books, and unsuccessfully at that, indicates the general overall unhealthy state of the media business. Rivals who might be tempted to blend these brands and circulation bases into their operations are probably cash-strapped themselves.
This is not another story about the continuing decline of print either. The vast majority of these titles were published in every form you can imagine — print, digital, online, and e-mail news versions. These were established publications that covered news horizontally across the industrial spectrum and vertically within many specific markets. A lot of seasoned editorial and advertising people are going to be added to the unemployment rolls. A lot of rich trade publishing history (Chilton, Cahners, Reed) in these many markets is going away.
Competing books may feel like winners for having lasted through a 15-round prizefight; however, they will only really get a boost if they pick up new advertisers or increased ad revenues. Many advertisers will continue another trend — becoming self publishers by expanding content on their own web sites, posting to blogs, publishing their own e-newsletters, and launching company pages on social media. If anyone claims to have all the marketing answers these days, they need to revisit this story and be a little humbled.
Here is a link to a great article (although not a great story) on the Reed closures:
Important Update #2:
Prior to the April 30 deadline, in two separate deals, 7 titles were sold by Reed.
Logistics Management, Material Handling Product News, Modern Materials Handling and Supply Chain Management Review were bought by Peerless Media, a unit of EH Publishing. Control Engineering, Consulting-Specifying Engineer and Plant Engineering were purchased by CFE Media, a company formed by former RBI publishers: