Print 17 comment(s) - last by Oregonian2.. on Mar 10 at 9:43 PM

Ziff Davis Media has $223 million in debt with $313 million in assets

Many of the traditional print publications owned by publishing companies have been around for decades. With the meteoric growth of the internet and resulting drop in traditional print magazine revenues many of the old print publications are struggling.

Ziff Davis Media is just such a company founded in the 1920’s by the company namesakes that finds itself in financial trouble as a result of dropping circulation and ad sales numbers. According to the Associated Press (AP), Ziff Davis Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday in the Southern district federal bankruptcy court in New York.

According to the AP Ziff Davis Media expects to reorganize and exit Chapter 11 protection by the middle of summer 2008. CEO of Ziff Davis, Jason Young told the AP, “We feel like we're in a position poised for wonderful growth. We just needed to solve this issue."

The Chapter 11 court filings show that Ziff Davis Media has about $500 million in liabilities and $313 million in assets. The creditors listed by the company total between 1,000 and 5,000 according to documents.

Ziff Davis reached an agreement with its senior creditors where they will be owed $57.5 million and at least 88.8% of the company’s common stock. Ziff Davis was unable to come to terms with its junior creditors. The company doesn’t foresee any job losses for its 266 employees.

Ziff Davis owns popular technology publications including PC Magazine and Electronic Gaming Monthly.

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Not too surprising
By Lazarus Dark on 3/7/2008 1:14:56 PM , Rating: 5
I used to get PC mag back in the mid-90's. But I quickly outgrew the mag. It was too dumbed down. I think a lot of their stuff is too dumbed down. I suppose it's good to have a well known entry level publisher for people new to computers/tech, but that gets repetitive as you grow up and not many people stick around long-term. Plus I felt like the quality of their various publications had slowly gone down over the years. Maybe that's just me? I don't know, I saw them start and drop too many ventures over the years, I guess they lost some trust.

But this doesn't really surprise me. How much of the newer generation knows who Ziff Davis is? Not many, I'd guess.

RE: Not too surprising
By tobrien on 3/7/2008 1:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with you, I think the same can be said for most PC publications, possibly. Maximum PC as well has gone way downhill.

RE: Not too surprising
By Ammohunt on 3/7/2008 1:41:54 PM , Rating: 3
Maximum PC replaced the greatest PC magazine ever..Boot magazine! Ziff davis just like like news papers can't compete with new media they are too inflexible.

RE: Not too surprising
By Spivonious on 3/7/2008 2:27:14 PM , Rating: 3
boot was amazing! The BYTE of the hardware world.

RE: Not too surprising
By Oregonian2 on 3/10/2008 9:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that PC magazine became a Engadget sort of toy announcement magazine and got rather fluffy. They just announced a change in their magazine from bi-weekly to monthly, and gave good valid reasons (IMO) for it. They once were the PC industry news organization, but that job has been taken over by the web. That's what drove the bi-weekly publication schedule -- which with reduced resources made fluff stuff all they could do (pipelining people with projects that don't publish for five issues increased employment/costs by a factor of five). So they moved their focus to having more in-depth articles and publish a little less than half as often. Good move if we don't just have fluff half as often. I hope their reviews, for instance, will approach what they used to be in their hey-day. There's a lot of review sites on the web, but IMO most of them are fluff reviews (CNET ones are close to almost completely useless, IMHO). Time will tell.. hope at least PC Mag will continue (just picked it up recently at a really good subscription price :-).

RE: Not too surprising
By bupkus on 3/7/2008 2:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
I remember reading PC Magazine back in the late 80's at the ASU Noble Library. In fact I subscribed for years well before that. The mags were at least a half inch thick, heavy with advertising. I stopped reading them long ago, but the last issue I saw was about as thick as People Magazine... kinda sad really.

RE: Not too surprising
By HaZaRd2K6 on 3/7/2008 3:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
Same thing with PC Gamer (different publisher, I know). I happened across a copy from late 1998 not too long ago, and it weighed in at a hefty 300 pages. Their latest issue: just a smidge over 100.

That's what happens.

Credit to Maximum PC for shifting more focus to their online business, though.

RE: Not too surprising
By BitByRabidAlgae on 3/10/2008 3:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
You want to talk about thick mags? Anyone remember Computer Shopper back in the early 90's?

Over 1000 large pages (90% being ads). I measured some of these at over 2 inches thick.

Last Computer Shopper I saw was barely over 1/4 inch thick. A far larger percentage was non-ad material, of course. But, it just reminded me of how things have changed in the magazine world.

I have to agree with others here though, that the reason I left mags behind is the time delay, and the "dumbed down" content.

RE: Not too surprising
By Oregonian2 on 3/10/2008 9:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think saying that it was 90% ads is being kind. Probably more like 98%. :-) There was a similar photography version as well with similar ratios (although only a third as thick or so I recall). But pre-internet that's where one shopped for "web" stores. One bought them FOR the ads, if you can imagine. :-)

RE: Not too surprising
By stmok on 3/8/2008 7:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm the same. I used to buy magazines in the mid/late 1990s, but I realised the Internet offered better news.

One advantage Internet sites have over magazines is that the news isn't delayed.

I suppose tools like AdBlock also play a role?

I'm gonna continue to support Ziff-Davis...
By LatinMessiah on 3/7/2008 1:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
As long as I they continue to offer the 3-year PC Gamer subscription for $19.99. Thank you, Ziff-Davis!

RE: I'm gonna continue to support Ziff-Davis...
By johnsonx on 3/7/2008 2:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
How does one get a 3 year sub for $19.99? On their website, it's 1 year. Not such a bad deal either, but if it was 3 years I'd definitely get it for my kid.

By hcforde on 3/7/2008 5:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
I went from PC Mag to Maximum PC to CPU magazine. I think that in that order they serve the more discriminating and hardcore PC person.

Yes but ......
By phxfreddy on 3/8/2008 8:50:59 AM , Rating: 1
.....who is the rather gay looking Asian man in the photo next to the title? Is that him stretching in advance of his balarina lesson?

RE: Yes but ......
By PCXLFan on 3/8/2008 11:41:25 AM , Rating: 2
Thats Dan "Shoe" Hsu, editor-in-chief of Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine.

RE: Yes but ......
By tuteja1986 on 3/9/2008 1:12:13 AM , Rating: 2
EGM , CGW and 1up is ran horribly in money wise. Also EGM review are something to really think about as having 3 people reviewing the same game wasn't a smart idea. 3 people reviewing same would have worked if review were more satisfying but instead each reviewer only got input one paragraph of how they felt about the game.

Time delay...
By HotdogIT on 3/8/2008 5:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with all of the print magazines, from Maximum PC to CPU, is the horrid time delay they all suffer.

I remember an issue of Maximum PC I got, outlining the new Phenom launch... which got to my house after Phenom had launched. As in, I had read about it that day on Anandtech, HardOCP, TechReport, etc.

So, what good did it do me? I mean, yeah, it was easier to take to the John than my laptop, but with the Eee, that's not that hard anymore either... :D

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