This morning it was announced that the print edition of PC Magazine will end with the January 2009 issue. Former Editor-in-Chief Michael Miller blogged about this on PCMag.com.
Memories, memories. I started at PC Magazine very shortly after Michael Miller became Editor-in-Chief in 1991. In fact, my first interview was with the previous Editor-in-Chief, Bill Machrone.
I confess to mixed feelings about the end of the print edition.
For many years I loved working at PC Magazine, and I worked hard. Putting together the Utilities column every two weeks was an escalating challenge over the ten years I was editor. The utilities got increasingly complex as more and more functionality was added to the operating system.
But then PC Magazine fell on hard financial times and there was wave after wave of layoffs. Eventually the ax came around to me. I’d been working as a full-time freelancer under a handshake agreement (yes, I’m naive) with then-editor Joel Dreyfuss, who had since left the magazine. The bean counters who’d taken management control were legally able to lay me off without severance pay, and they did – quite abruptly. That was how it ended for me after 12 years of 70-hour work weeks, producing what for a long time was the most popular column in the magazine.
So while I’m mostly over my anger (it’s been a while now since I left), I admit to a little bit of schadenfreude. Did the print magazine fail due to mismanagement after Michael Miller left, or is print just on the way out, or both? Hard to say.
In any case, I am sad that my relationship with PC Magazine ended on a sour note because I spent so many happy years there. The good old days in the 1990s were a great ride. I’ll try to focus on that.