PC Magazine Evolves to Match Emerging Tech

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Ziff Davis Media Inc.'s PC Magazine, devoted to new technology and products, unveiled a redesign in April -- the title's first change in 15 years.

The 22-times-a-year publication with a circulation of 681,475 is targeting the evolution in people's lives as new technology emerges.

"People's lives have changed, and that's what's so interesting," said Jim McCabe, publisher of PC Magazine, New York. "We have continued to expand to match where technology is going in our readers' lives."

One of these expanded areas of interest is the automotive industry, particularly the technology advances inside cars, which PC Magazine shows in its new Technoride column.

The travel industry is another area the redesign has embraced. PC Magazine will show travelers how they can have mobility and productivity in another city while still being connected to home.

"It used to be that people were worried about pillows, but now they are worried about having Wi-Fi in their hotels," Mr. McCabe said.

PC Magazine's format now covers technology from three perspectives: discovery of new technological products, commentary on technological issues and solutions for service-oriented problems.

Visually, PC Magazine's biggest change occurred on its cover. The previous cover was divided into four quadrants with specific information. The new cover is centered on one image that depicts the major feature story of the issue.

"The old design of the magazine had too much clutter," Mr. McCabe said. "We are targeting the same people, but we are moving with them."

The magazine has kept its $5.99 cover price along with its circulation strategies, offers and circulation rate base.

"The circulation strategy of the title is to find a technology-savvy reader who wants the latest information on new products and industry trends through direct mail, Internet and affinity partnerships," Mr. McCabe said.

PC Magazine plans to attract new readers and retain current ones by giving up-to-date information on products and the growing role of technology in its reader's lives.

Ad rates did not change. But Mr. McCabe is unsure for 2007, given the expected increase in postal rates. Traditional and nontraditional advertisers have embraced PC Magazine's new design, he said.

"Traditional technology corporations like Microsoft and Intel understand the changing world because it is changing for them, too," he said. "We also now have interest from the automotive industry like Ford and Mazda, which we never have before."

Another new area of advertising interest has come from financial services, which Mr. McCabe attributes to subscribers doing most of their financial management online.

PC Magazine's Web site also will get a new look over the coming months.

Mr. McCabe has more than 20 years of sales, marketing and advertising experience with consumer and business-to-business media companies. Prior to becoming publisher of PC Magazine, he served as publisher of Worth Magazine and Fast Company.

"With this redesign we have the ability to be unique, and we always have to fine-tune that," he said. "We want to consult with people in order to produce customized benefits for them."

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