There is a great interview with Bryan Glick, Editor in Chief of Computer Weekly on The Media Briefing Website. In April 2011 the publication announced it was killing the print magazine, a result of the acquisition of the title from Reed by TechTarget. Whilst Bryan admits shutting the print product was a big deal – the issues date back to the year England won the world cup – he’s quick to point out that you shouldn’t associate “shutting print” with “shutting down”.

In fact Computer Weekly has done pretty well since going digital. The editorial team has grown from 10 to 15 journalists, the weekly digital magazine now goes out to over 200,000 subscribers and Website traffic is up 50 percent. But perhaps the most interesting are Bryan’s comments on the changes to online editorial:

“Editorially, we have been freed from the tyranny of chasing any hit on the website. Quality of audience is the critical factor, as it has to be in B2B. We could easily grow our readership by writing endless stories about iPads, Twitter , Facebook or Instagram; by live blogging every Apple product launch; or by crowd-pleasing rants about the angle of the bezel on the latest smartphone.
Instead, we write about the sometimes boring things that matter to our audience of IT professionals. And we write in depth – our ratio of news to long-form content is about 50:50; a few years ago it would have been nearer to 80 percent quick-hit news stories.
And guess what? When you write about things that matter to your audience, they read more articles…”

Bryan also talks about the change in focus: from selling adverts to lead generation. Whilst he acknowledges that ads sold on a CPM basis still account for a lot of revenue, he believes that it’s only by moving away the simple demographic “reader registration card” to a much deeper understanding of what interests each reader that really ads value:

“Now, we combine reader demographics with behavioural data about the content they read. And that is hugely valuable to clients.”

This is a fascinating article, and should be required reading for every publisher that is contemplating the seemingly inevitable closure of their print title.