RealTime IT News

Media Central Down But Not Out?

Despite some notable downtime in the last 48 hours, Primedia Inc.'s media industry Web site Media Central denied rumors today that it would shutter its doors anytime soon.

InternetNews.com has learned that Media Central editorial employees were told yesterday they would be laid off effective Monday, May 4, and that content would originate from Ithaca and not New York's Park Avenue offices.

The site, which was "unavailable" Thursday, April 30 until early afternoon Friday, May 1, blamed its downtime on the relocation of Web servers to new locations. Media Central's editorial offices are based in New York City, while some of its servers reside in Ithaca located in central New York.

"Media Central is not shutting down, it's making some changes and moving the servers," Eric Vianello, Director of New Media with Primedia-owned Intertec Publishing, told InternetNews.com today.

However, Vianello admitted that "changes" involving personnel would be made, with some full-timers going freelance and some positions absorbed into Intertec.

Media Central has weathered a series of significant changes of late. In March, parent owner Cowles Business Media was acquired by Primedia, which also purchased the Cowles Enthusiast magazine group from McClatchy Newspapers for $200 million.

Also in March, Media Central announced its intention to have Web users purchase subscriptions to enter the site for rates of $99, $149, or $249, effective April 1. The site remained available for the non-subscribers past the April 1 cut-off, and by mid-April the company said it had scrapped the idea of charging readers.

The site's content includes Web magazine Media Daily which reports on news concerning the Internet, Radio, and Cable/Broadcasting industries.

In addition, content from Cowles Business Media's business-to-business magazines which cover the Internet, direct marketing, desktop publishing, cable, and magazine fields is featured. Folio:, Cable World, Promo, Direct Newsline, as well as newsletters from Cowles/Simba are also offered online.

Asked about possible editorial shifts in content, Vianello said, "We haven't fully decided on our content yet. It will contain unique editorial content created for the site with relevant articles."

Vianello added that relationships with outside content providers are being pursued.

"The changes will reflect Media Central's new ownership and integrate Intertec's media operations to expedite additional revenues."