Friday, May 1, 2009

Hello and Goodbye

Well, all this talk about how print is hurting suddenly became more personal yesterday when the plug finally got pulled on Portable Design. That ends a 12-year run for the magazine, including four with me at the helm. I'm now, as they say, "looking to pursue other opportunities."

If a rising tide lifts all boats, an ebb tide can leave them high and dry--especially small boats like PD. With even big publishers like "The Company Formerly Known As CMP" downsizing their print books (read: laying off my friends), there's a limit to how long smaller outfits like the RTC Group can hang in there in a down market. Between a huge increase in competition in our space over the years; a strong move from print to online, with a corresponding sharp drop in ad revenues; and the current recession, it was time to pack it in. I give RTC a lot of credit for hanging in there with me and PD, but this was the right thing to do.

I don't have any plans at the moment, though starting online magazines or e-newsletters for clients is an interesting idea, as is doing some more in-depth research than is possible under deadline pressure. If you have any bright ideas, feel free to let me know. You can reach me at I'll keep the blog going, so posts here are also welcome.

Best regards,

UPDATE (5/4): I didn't at all mean to imply above that the RTC Group will have trouble "hanging in there"--I was referring to there being a limit to how long they could "hang in there" losing money on PD. To reiterate: I agree with John R's decision to pull the plug on PD, sad as that was. The RTC Group as a company is doing quite well despite the downturn, not the least for making intelligent, if difficult management decisions. -- JD

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