Penton Media publishes several IT-related magazines including SQL Server Magazine and Windows IT Pro, and is involved with the DevConnections conference. They announced that they’re filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which means they pay back a portion of their debt and the rest is erased. BtoB Media reports that Penton’s revenue fell about 26% last year.
A few of us were talking about this at the MVP Summit today in Redmond, and we reminisced about the times when we got all of our industry knowledge through magazines. I remember learning about industry news like new SQL versions through SQL Server Magazine and devouring it from cover to cover each time it arrived in my cubicle. These days, I usually get the breaking news through blogs, but I think I’m in the minority. Most SQL Server professionals don’t read blogs.
I think there’s still a place for real journalism. I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal because I get a lot of well-researched, well-written content out of it each morning. I subscribe to car magazines Automobile and Car & Driver because they have really entertaining columnists with decades of industry experience. A well-done magazine or newspaper offers something I’m willing to pay for. On the other hand, the Chicago Tribune is having a tougher time winning me over; I hit their free online edition daily, but it’s a rare day that I click through to an underlying story.
Penton Media expects to exit bankruptcy in 30 days, and I hope they emerge with the strength to produce consistently great content makes SQL Server professionals get out their wallets.