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EE Times Going Biweekly

Posted on | November 12, 2008 | 6 Comments

“Biweekly is the new weekly.” Former CMP CEO Steve Weitzner uttered those words three years ago as the tech B:B industry was struggling with slipping advertising revenues. EE Times will bite that bullet in January when its 35-year-old print edition goes from weekly to biweekly. Total circulation will be 140,000, with half taking the print version and half taking the digital version, available on eetimes.com.
Publisher David Blaza, in a letter to marketers, wrote:

“…increasingly the industry reads news online and turns to print for intelligence and analysis that is best delivered in a more tactile and in-depth format. In a market that is “over published,” we remain committed to producing a quality print publication but the weekly frequency no longer meets your needs.”

(By the way, you have to love “overpublished.” Translated, it means someone else in that sector needs to stop being stubborn, fall on its sword and let the healthy pubs get on with life. And I know David has a short list of his favorite candidates!)
Many will read this as another step on the road to the end of print in the electronics sector. One wag emailed already to suggest to it should be “bi-weakly.” Blaza and Paul Miller stand by their long-held philosophy that print is a heads-up, analysis-focused medium and online is heads-down, information gathering.
But I keep coming back to a few simple thoughts:

  • Recessions are forcing mechanisms.
  • The semiconductor industry was born to eat its young, and as the industry itself goes through continuous change, that is starting to happen more forcefully to the larger community, publishing in particular.
  • Information is not dead; it’s the mother’s milk of innovation and commerce.

Print’s a great medium, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Unfortunately for the engineering space, the very same engineers who have enabled the digital world are trailing adopters of its technology. That’s what’s been so painful about the B:B transformation from print. Advertisers are abandoning it but readers haven’t. Now readers are being forced to.
In any case, the good news is the electronics press, though withered in numbers, remains as smart and insightful as ever. Just read Ron Wilson’s piece on EDN.com: Electronics and the Economy: a view from Electronica.
This is the same type of analysis Ron would have crafted for EE Times’s front page 10 years ago. Only today it’s on a blog. You can argue that it sucks to read lengthy analysis on a computer screen and that’s un-green to print it out and read it with your feet up. But the point is the insight’s still there. It’s on EE Times, John Blyler’s blog at ChipDesign, Electronic Products, Electronic Design, Brian Dipert at EDN. They’ve made their moves . And slowly you’re beginning to see engineers migrate there. You can tell because they’re commenting on blog posts.
The next step editorially is to build community a little bit better, bring more social-networking tools and concepts to the sites. The next step on the marketing side, is to prove advertising ROI. And to properly monetize all that fabulous, insightful content that editors are working so hard under tough conditions to produce.

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Comments

6 Responses to “EE Times Going Biweekly”

  1. Lou Covey
    November 13th, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

    Not really surprising. Almost a year ago there was the rumor that EE Times would be going monthly. I think this is the first step toward that.

  2. Greeley's Ghost
    November 13th, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

    We were talking about biweekly when I was still there. Going monthly is difficult in B:B sectors. This isn’t the Atlantic monthly. I can’t think of a B:B monthly at all, but i’m probably missing something. Didn’t the remaining monthly design pubs go more frequent in recent years?

  3. Debra Seifert
    November 13th, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

    John Blyler is also helping engineers become bloggers. It is funny that these people ARE rocket scientists yet hesitate to use social media. I am involved in an effort to get engineers to blog on Intel Embedded & Communications Alliance Embedded Forum (goembeddedforum.com) and I know how hard it is to coax them out of the cubicle. They don't comment much (10 is the most I have ever seen anywhere on an engineering blog). Now is the time for adoption.

  4. Greeley's Ghost
    November 14th, 2008 @ 9:51 am

    I’d like to see a reasonable, agreed-upon ratio for comments to reads on blogs. Comments are obviously good but reading is better. Many people “engage” with blogs and find them valuable withuot commenting.
    Unfortunately, engineers may be even more reticent than your average bear to speak up digitally!

  5. wretch
    November 14th, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

    What? Analysis is only useful every two weeks?

    Very few magazines have ever survived a change in frequency.

    Any employee who blogs about his/her company’s business without blanket WRITTEN immunity from management ire (and retaliation) is an idiot. Good luck, Debra.

  6. Anonymous
    November 18th, 2008 @ 11:43 am

    How many changes has EE Times made in the last 5 years? You have to give the folks credit for trying, but basically they are now on the same playing field as Electronic Business…which (in a bit of foreshadowing?) is now defunct. One might argue that EET is on the same playing field as EDN now but if you look at EDN’s current staff (extremely technical) vs EET’s (news folks who are more versed in the biz aspects than the transistors and IO), they can’t compete with EDN. EET is essentially now the new EB but is kicking off at the beginning of a recession. BTW, half the publishing means half the advert dollars vs half the expense of funding print. That essentially means EET will be getting half the revenue it did before (if extremely lucky) but in bad economic times while trying to convince readers (and more importantly advertisers) its as valuable as it was when it was weekly. Thoughts?

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