Friday, December 15, 2006

Media mergers can be a good thing

Chris Dorobek in The FCW Insider:

I can tell you that we are not closing any of the publications down. To be honest, from a business side, it just wouldn't make sense. An advertiser buys in FCW and GCN. If we close GCN, does it mean they are going to say to themselves, 'Well, I'll just buy two pages in FCW.'

But from an editorial perspective, I'm not sure it makes sense either. For 20 years now, FCW and GCN have been going after one another -- sometimes viciously. There was a lot of competition out there -- and regular readers of this blog know that I am a fan of competition. But we were essentially fighting for the same stories -- working hard to get the latest Doan news up four minutes before they do. All that time, energy and effort meant that readers had different versions of that story, but it also means that all sorts of stories went untold and unreported because we just didn't have the time, energy or resources.

So there will be changes. Vitale put it well tonight. "Watch this space," referring to both FCW and GCN. We will need to create publications that are clearly distinguished from one another. Our hope is that, 18 months from now, people no longer refer to us as Government Computer Week of Federal Computer News.

Regarding competition, if we don't meet the needs of our readers and this community, I have faith that in this media market, there will be 15 blogs focusing on government IT, several Web sites. There is plenty of competition -- and the outstanding reporting teams at both FCW and GCN are going to ensure that we cover what people need to know to do their jobs.

So, give us a little bit of time to work this all out, but I think there is amazing potential.

That is very reassuring both from a reader and a flack prospective.

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