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27/11/2006

Web killed Press Gazette - and didn't save it...

Press Gazette had 110,000 unique visitors to its website - including its excellent blog* - as opposed to 2,700 print subscribers, says Neil McIntosh.

Its readers went to the web where it was just one of many sources of information - journalism is  a professional community, as you'd expect, that has a particularly large number of blogs.

A network of blogs and journal-like blogs like Journalism.co.uk, then, that does much of the job that a trade journal used to : news, debate, opinion, gossip, etc. etc.

Despite its relative success online Press Gazette was unable to stay in business. It no doubt made some cash from ads and sponsorship online but it was not enough.

A worrying precedent for trade media in other sectors, and no mistook.

Neil M also points to Roy Greenslade's obit, which says:

With the best will in the world, Press Gazette as a printed publication, was unlikely to return a profit and its website - with 110,000 unique users a month - was probably one of the reasons its print sales were falling. Yet it had, like so many media businesses, not yet discovered a way of monetising its online version. The magazine will be a loss. It was more widely read than its sales figures suggest, being passed around offices.

Sad news, indeed. And we're no wiser for it what the future of trade journals is - because PG didn't find the answers to the hard business questions that face so many of them in time for it to save itself.

* Martin Stabe, who wrote the Fleet Street 2.0 blog continues to blog at his own site.

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Comments

I think it's important not to de-emphasise the extent to which the shambolic business decisions made by the Press Gazette's exec team had a hand in its death. "Web killed Press Gazette" is a much more eye-catching headline than "Exec team's lame decisions, profligate spending, and lack of sense about where to invest in online era killed Press Gazette," but I think the story itself is much more instructive - and accurate - than the headlines.

Fair point, JD.

Jackie makes a good point.

Interestingly, I don't know more than a couple of the dozens of journalists I've worked with down the years who read Press Gazette regularly, yet I know many more who used the website once it got its revamp a year or so back. There was a hug opportunity there, but the management team were so caught up in pre-internet age thinking (print advertising and events as the backbone of revenue generation) that they missed the new opportunity.

Their general lack of experience of trade media as opposed to consumer media showed as well.

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