In June of this year, we wrote a blog about the sad closing of publisher Advantage Business Marketing (ABM), with the future of publications like ECN left uncertain. So our interest was peaked when we heard the news that WTWH Media was transitioning long-time brands ECN Magazine, Medical Design Technology, Product Design & Development, and Wireless Design & Development into Design World, EE World Online and Medical Design & Outsourcing.

The announcement also revealed that although the R&D 100 Conference & Awards will continue, the R&D magazine will re-launch on a new platform as R&D World, with a series of targeted vertical technology sites expected soon.

After a quick search, we came across a webinar held on the 15th October and hosted by Scott McCafferty, co-founder of WTWH Media, explaining the acquisition of ABM’s assets and what its means for the publications’ future.

It seems that shortly after ABM went bust, WTWH Media found opportunity amongst the publisher’s assets, acquiring the R&D and ECN ‘pillars’ of ABM.  Scott explained that WTWH Media want to revitalize the brands and to accomplish this has three focuses for the future. This consists of unwinding the brands, rebuilding them, and growing them. Although many members of the old staff have moved on from ABM, they are engaging with a few of the original staff members, enlisting their help to ensure a smooth transition.

Alongside the acquisition of the R&D and ECN ‘pillars’, WTWH Media has gained access to ECN’s database of 262,303 contacts and ECN’s customized list of 83,177 digital subscribers.

It will be interesting to see the approach WTWH Media take with these brands, as if the news of the Aspencore redundancies  is anything to refer to, the growth of publishers and publications is declining in the US.  Perhaps Scott sums it up as best, as he reveals that moving forward they are looking ‘to do the opposite of what happened in the past’, and with certainly lots of plans for the future, we will be interested to see what they do to achieve success.