Why did you decide to buy EE Times Europe and MWEE only a few years after selling your magazine to CMP (now TechInsights)?
AndreAlthough it seems to be only a few years, it has actually been 9 years! At the time (November 2000) when CMP acquired EBP, CMP desperately wanted to have European magazines to compete with Reed globally. Now as CMP/Techinsights / EETimes Group have realigned their business, they feel that they need to concentrate on their home market and work globally with affiliates ( in Europe, Asia, Japan).

What are the advantages of you owning the European titles rather than managing the publishing of them within TechInsights?
There are many: we’ll be able to make strategic decisions on our own, adapt the publications to the customer needs, and make long term investments such as the one we have already launched to create a new web site.

How will the acquisition change the way that the European titles are sold in the USA?
There will be no change at all as we always had our own sales team in the US, with Todd Bria on the West, Steve Priessman in the Midwest and East and Jim Lees covering Atlantic states.

What benefits will European advertisers see from the change of ownership?
We’ll be more Europe centric and will be looking at targeting the editorial content to the needs of our European readers both on line and in print. Also, we’ll invest more into readership acquisition and qualification.

You purchased the European DesignLines, which have a global audience, but TechInsights has retained Embedded Systems Europe, which is a European publication. Can you explain why you did this?
The Design Lines we have kept in our portfolio do address the European market and even if by essence these micro sites can be seen globally, the content is aimed at our core European readership. Embedded Systems Europe has been changed to ESD (UK) with a UK only circulation. Techinsights have a core competence in the Embedded field with a number of ESC events around the world and ESD fits nicely into their portfolio.

When do you think there will be a noticeable upturn in the European electronics advertising market?
The market is still very much depressed and advertising budgets have been cut to a minimum. However, we see some signs of an upturn online and 2010 should be much better online than 2009. With regards to print we’ll probably see much more activity in the second half of 2010 with the electronica 2010 exhibition being a key driver.

What’s your view of companies that don’t advertise, but expect their PR to be covered in your titles?
There are 2 different categories in such companies: the first one consists of all the small companies that think they cannot afford advertising and these do some PR which we are happy to publish to inform our readers about start ups and new technologies. The second category is more of a problem as they have money, have an extended PR department and expect their PR to be published but do not support the trade press with advertising. These companies in the end only hurt themselves as they do not take advantage of a medium that can help them create more brand awareness among the specifiers and buyers who are the publications’ readers. Plus the cost of an advertising program in trade publications is relatively small when you compare it with other expenses these companies make. If these companies believe in PR and in the magazines that publish them they ought to do some advertising. If they don’t they may find that in the medium term there will be no publications to publish their PR in.

What is the one thing you’d like to change about the way companies do PR and marketing in the electronics industry?
The one thing most companies seem to have forgotten about is that we are all in the same ecosystem: publishers create reader communities who buy companies’ products. A recent study by our partner is Asia Global Sources has shown that even in the Google age, brand is the key to success: engineers type in brands into the Google search engine rather than key words. And how do you get brand recognition? Mostly by advertising in print and online.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Listening to music – mostly classical, walking in open nature, mountains etc. Also I tend to spend a great deal of my free time working on the renovation of our second home in Périgord, France and visiting wineries in Burgundy, and Bergerac which has some top notch and relatively little known producers.

What’s your favourite gadget?
I am not very good at gadgets and I am not sure if I actually own any other than a couple of digital cameras and an iTouch MP3 player which I rarely ever use.