Sadly Prosessori is to close. The last issue of the magazine will be the November 2011 issue, with the website shutting down at the end of the year. Although the publisher, Sanoma Magazines Finland, will offer a <a href=”/index.php?page_id=4985″>much broader technology title, 3T,</a> that will hopefully engage the current Prosessori readership, this is clearly a significant blow to Finnish electronics engineers who want to get industry news and information in their own language.
Jari Peltoniemi and Veijo Ojanperä will be employed on the new title, which gives some hope that the new title will have a strong focus on the electronics market, although clearly some good journalists are going to be looking for a new role.
Jari emailed me about the closure, saying

“The Finnish electronics industry has suffered a lot during the last few years. The global financial crisis in 2008 accelerated the trend as the manufacturing of handsets and the export of telecom equipments slowed. The development has had its effect on Prosessori as well.”

I’m surprised. Although Nokia clearly has had its problems, and many electronic components companies and their marketing departments continue to demand PR coverage without offering financial support to titles, I haven’t seen any desperate attempts to save Prosessori as a publication. Perhaps the clue is in something else that Jari told me:

“During the last few years it has become more and more difficult to financially justify publishing a high quality magazine for the professionals in electronics.”

Prosessori has refused to compromise on quality. It has refused to slash the editorial team, and continued to reject the idea of filling the publication with contributed articles. However Prosessori didn’t investigate other approaches to cost saving, such as digital distribution. Clearly it’s harder for a magazine that pulls in a significant amount of subscription revenue to convince people to keep paying when they don’t get a physical product, but I would have expected something to be done.
T3 does have one major advantage – it has been chosen by the UIL (The Union of Professional Engineers in Finland) as the publication it will send to its members, ensuring a first year circulation of 55 to 60,000. Like Engineering and Technology in the UK, I hope that support from the professional organisation will ensure the funding required for a high quality editorial product.
The truth is that Prosessori had a lot going for it. Subscription income, outstanding website traffic and a country with a strong electronics industry (even if it’s not as strong as it was). Even with all this, they couldn’t produce a high quality magazine that was profitable. I worry that this is a bad sign – there is a clear trend amongst publishers to compromise editorial quality to save cost, although there are certainly a number of publications that retain a strong. Could it really be that ultimately no specialist electronics publication will be able to deliver a product that consists mainly of high-quality staff written articles and make a profit? I hope not!