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CMP No More: UBM Breaks Tech Media Firm Into Four Companies; UBM Not Interested in RBI Either

In a big move in the tech trade media space, United Business Media, the UK-headquartered media firm has broken out CMP into four separate companies. The company, which went through a bunch of layoffs and restructuring and then booted its CEO, has now decided to do away with the CMP brand name, and the four smaller companies are:
TechWeb, formerly CMP’s Business Technology Group, will be led by CEO, Tony Uphoff (Uphoff was the former publisher of Hollywood Reporter, though only for nine months before John Kilcullen replaced him…Kilculen departure from THR/Nielsen was announced yesterday). Some of the brands that are going with this company are Light Reading, InformationWeek, TechNet and MSDN Magazines and others. The 2007 proforma revenues for TechWeb were $148 million.
Everything Channel, formerly CMP Channel, will be led by CEO Robert Faletra. Some of the brands in this company are CRN, VARBusiness and others. The 2007 proforma revenues for Everything Channel were $73 million.
TechInsights, formerly CMP’s Electronics Group, will be led by CEO Paul Miller. Some of th brands in this company are: EE Times, Semiconductor Insights, TechOnline, Embedded Systems Conferences and Portelligent. The 2007 proforma revenues for TechInsights were $83 million.
Think Services, formerly CMP’s Game, Dr. Dobb’s and International Customer Management Group, will be led by CEO Philip Chapnick. The brands in this company include Game Developers Conference,, and Dr. Dobb’s Journal. The 2007 proforma revenues for Think Services were $61 million.

CMP has done over 18 acquisitions worth about $225 million in the last three years, particularly events and business information products. With these four companies, the new businesses will share support functions and infrastructure, including finance, IT services, legal and global account and sales management. The central functions will become part of UBM’s US infrastructure with Scott Mozarsky, currently CMP’s CFO, taking the role of COO. More here in the release.

Meanwhile, UBM also announced its 2007 earnings, and net income fell to 108.8 million pounds ($216 million) from 141.9 million pounds a year earlier. Sales rose 8.5 percent to 801.6 million pounds. Also, UBM CEO David Levin has also ruled out bidding for Reed Business Information, telling Reuters: “We have a strategy built around integrated media so to pick up a block of orphaned print assets is not consistent with what we want to do.”

Updated: Sam Whitmore in his e-mail newsletter on why this makes sense: “UBM also has improved the odds of selling its former CMP properties, if it were so inclined. For example, a buyer interested in TechWeb might not necessarily be interested in, say, CMP’s assets in computer games. This sort of thing happened to CMP a few years ago: it bought Miller Freeman for its tech media assets, but it also wound up owning Guitar Player magazine.”

3 Responses to “CMP No More: UBM Breaks Tech Media Firm Into Four Companies; UBM Not Interested in RBI Either”

  1. Observer

    I was at Miller Freeman when this happened; MFI was the unit of United News & Media (now UBM) that acquired CMP, and after the acquisition the decision was made to divest the "low-tech" parts of MFI and keep the rest under the CMP brand. The irony is that Miller Freeman's strategy had been very similar to the new UBM strategy of having a variety of media for each narrow audience, with an emphasis on exhibitions as well as other paid information products. UBM cast off that strategy in favor a huge bet on publications for the technology market, with a central command-and-control philosophy that stifled innovation; the tech market immediately cratered, and the company no longer had the non-tech assets to cushion the blow. Now 8 years later, UBM is admitting that the CMP branding was a mistake, and is going back to the niche strategy where the business units are allowed to respond nimbly to changes in their markets. It's back to the Miller Freeman strategy and way of doing business! (Although with amusing new names for the business units.)

  2. Insider

    That's only half-right. Miller Freeman was acquired by United News Media of London, which later became United Business Media. UBM subsequently acquired CMP, then decided to merge most MFI assets under the CMP name. Now, the four new companies exist directly under the UBM logo.