Anyone who was a teenage geek like me will remember buying computer review magazines from WH Smith – mags so engorged with ads for mail order PC sellers, they were as thick as your mother’s Grattan catalogue. But for some those days are coming to an end – Incisive Media is closing Personal Computer World, after 31 years, due to the “unprecedented adverse economic climate”, the publisher tells Press Gazette. There will be some “role redundancies” from the team of 12; there’s no suggestion PCW’s website will continue.
Incisive says: “Advertisement and copy sale revenues have declined in parallel with the contraction of the monthly personal computer magazine market, to the point that the title is no longer economically viable … Sadly, no amount of hard work or innovation was going to turn around the structural decline in advertising and newsstand sales. The depth of this recession and the ease of access to information online has only served to accelerate the long-term downward trend within this particular sector.”
Before the web was popular, such titles were must-reads for hobbyists and enterprise users keen to tinker with their machines, and buyers looking for tests and reviews; but it’s this audience especially that now depends instead on the web. PCW will join Computer Buyer, which Dennis retired in January by merging it with Computer Shopper, which in the US has gone online-only.
PCW had an average 54,069 monthly circulation in 2008 and most readers have been reading for over six years. Incisive’s computing portfolio already includes The Inquirer, VNUnet, Gizmodo, Computeractive Picture and Computing Picture.