EBay Magazine to Cease Publication, Butterfields Cuts Confirmed

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Online auction site eBay, San Jose, CA, recently announced plans to discontinue publication of eBay Magazine after it completes its December issue, less than two years after launching the monthly publication. EBay yesterday also confirmed rumors that it has more than decimated its staff at subsidiary Butterfields, a traditional auction house. Sixteen percent of its staff, or 33 of 200 positions, were eliminated to keep within a competitive environment, said Kevin Pursglove, spokesman for eBay, San Jose, CA.


EBay Magazine, which is co-produced by eBay and Krause Publications, Iola, WI, has a circulation of about 400,000. Modeled after Ziff-Davis's Yahoo Internet Life, eBay Magazine has focused on general Internet developments, collecting and eBay's Web site.


The two companies did not provide a reason for their decision to stop publishing the magazine. An eBay spokesman confirmed only that eBay's contract with Krause Publications is expiring at the end of the year, and the two sides mutually decided not to renew it.


EBay has said it would continue to explore ways to capitalize on the company's brand in other media channels. EBay is negotiating to launch a TV show that will highlight its online auction site and reach a potentially larger market than its monthly magazine does.


The cuts at Butterfield were made to address globalization in the traditional auction industry, not because of the failing dot-com trend, Pursglove said.


Layoffs were issued across the board in its Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago offices, Pursglove said. Employees got their pink slips Tuesday.


Editorially, eBay Magazine offered a mix of general-interest computing stories and some articles that could be viewed as promotional. For instance, the October issue's feature article explored the challenges of using a single phone line for Web surfing and regular home telephone use. The September issue, however, featured a report on e-commerce sites and tips on how to make the online shopping experience a satisfactory one.


The December finale was scheduled to focus on tech support and how Internet users can find the quickest, most helpful service.


• Shaun Mccormick contributed to this story.
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